Microsoft Claims to Bring Human Reasoning to AI with New Algorithm

September 20, 2023

Has Microsoft found the key to meld the strengths of AI reasoning and human cognition? Decrypt declares, “Microsoft Infuses AI with Human-Like Reasoning Via an ‘Algorithm of Thoughts’.” Not only does the Algorithm of Thoughts (AoT for short) come to better conclusions, it also saves energy by streamlining the process, Microsoft promises. Writer Jose Antonio Lanz explains:

“The AoT method addresses the limitations of current in-context learning techniques like the ‘Chain-of-Thought’ (CoT) approach. CoT sometimes provides incorrect intermediate steps, whereas AoT guides the model using algorithmic examples for more reliable results. AoT draws inspiration from both humans and machines to improve the performance of a generative AI model. While humans excel in intuitive cognition, algorithms are known for their organized, exhaustive exploration. The research paper says that the Algorithm of Thoughts seeks to ‘fuse these dual facets to augment reasoning capabilities within LLMs.’ Microsoft says this hybrid technique enables the model to overcome human working memory limitations, allowing more comprehensive analysis of ideas. Unlike CoT’s linear reasoning or the ‘Tree of Thoughts’ (ToT) technique, AoT permits flexible contemplation of different options for sub-problems, maintaining efficacy with minimal prompting. It also rivals external tree-search tools, efficiently balancing costs and computations. Overall, AoT represents a shift from supervised learning to integrating the search process itself. With refinements to prompt engineering, researchers believe this approach can enable models to solve complex real-world problems efficiently while also reducing their carbon impact.”

Wowza! Lanz expects Microsoft to incorporate AoT into its GPT-4 and other advanced AI systems. (Microsoft has partnered with OpenAI and invested billions into ChatGPT; it has an exclusive license to integrate ChatGPT into its products.) Does this development bring AI a little closer to humanity? What is next?

Cynthia Murrell, September 20, 2023


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