Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagModel collapse


Will Digital Inbreeding Be the End of AI?

Without the creative input of humans, AI is doomed to deteriorate.

On Thursday, November 2, COSM 2023 hosted a panel on “The Quintessential Limits and Possibilities of AI,” addressing one of the fundamental questions COSM seeks to investigate: “Is AI ‘generative’ or degenerative?” If these experts are right, AI might be doomed to eventually degenerate into nonsense. George Montañez, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College, opened the session by explaining how AI works. Modern AIs and their “large language models” (LLMs) are trained on huge sets of real-world data — namely text and images generated by humans. Panelist William Dembski, a  mathematician and philosopher, pointed out that these LLMs “require a lot of input data and training” in order to work. For example, he notes that it took Read More ›

Uroboros, snake coiled in a ring, biting its tail. Engraving sketch scratch board imitation sepia.

Model Collapse: AI Chatbots Are Eating Their Own Tails

The problem is fundamental to how they operate. Without new human input, their output starts to decay

Once upon a time in the near future, a student could feed ChatGPT an idea for an essay, go off to listen to some music, eat pizza,and chat with friends — and rest assured that a B+ essay would be waiting at home. Long before that near future had any chance of occurring, teachers were earnestly debating the merits of such a system. In elite media like the New York Times, it was endorsed as a teaching aid. And in Scientific American, we learned that ChatGPT (and serviceable knock-offs, presumably) can improve education. There is only one problem. ChatGPT is an ouroboros — the mythical serpent that eats its own tail. Or so we are beginning to learn from the Read More ›