AI, AI, Ai-Yi-Ai: Too Much Already

February 8, 2024

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

I want to say that smart software and systems are annoying me, not a lot, just a little.

Al algorithms are advancing society from science fiction into everyday life. AI algorithms are indexes and math. But the algorithms are still processes simulating reason mental functions. We’ve come to think, unfortunately, that AI like ChatGPT are sentient and capable of rational thought.

Mita Williams wrote a the post “I Will Dropkick You If You Refer To An LLM As A Librarian” on her blog Librarian of Things. In her post, she explains that AI is being given more credit than it deserves and large language models (LLMs) are being compared to libraries. While Williams responds to these assertions as a true academic with citations and explanations, her train of thought is more in line with Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift.

Twain and Swift are two great English-speaking authors and satirists. They made outrageous claims and their essays will make many people giggle or laugh. Williams should rewrite her post like them. Her humor would probably be lost on the majority of readers, though. Here’s the just of her post: A lot of people are saying AI and their LLM learning tools are like giant repositories of knowledge capable of human emotion, reasoning, and intelligence. Williams argues they’re not and that assumption should be reevaluated.

Furthermore, smart software can be configured to do some things more quickly and accurately rate than some human. Williams is right:

“This is why I will not describe products like ChatGPT as Artificial General Intelligence. This is why I will avoid using the word learned when describing the behavior of software, and will substitute that word with associated instead. Your LLM is more like a library catalogue than a library but if you call it a library, I won’t be upset. I recognize that we are experiencing the development of new form of cultural artifact of massive import and influence. But an LLM is not a librarian and I won’t let you call it that.”

I am a somewhat critical librarian. I like books. Smart software … not so much at this time.

Whitney Grace, February 8, 2024


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