[ExI] Fwd: GPT-4 gets a B on Scott Aaronson's quantum computing final exam

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Fri Apr 28 23:59:06 UTC 2023

On Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 5:53 AM Giovanni Santostasi <gsantostasi at gmail.com>

> Jason,
> I noticed that when you give a chance for self-reflection the answers of
> GPT-4 improve a lot.
> If it was just a matter of statistics this should not be possible because
> the signal is not changed by revising the previous answer and you may add
> just more noise by choosing another set of possible stats.
> Giovanni

Yes I think that aspect is really human like. If a student gets something
wrong and you tell them they made an error, they will further examine it
from the perspective of it being wrong and attempt to search for the
problem, which their attention was not focused on before.

This was reported on recently where GPT would often right insecure code,
but then when asked to make it secure or to find and fix security issues,
it was able to do so.

There's an adage in computer programming that it should be done in three
1. Make it work
2. Make it right
3. Make it fast

I think GPT often stops at 1, unless explicitly prompted to do 2 or 3.


> On Thu, Apr 27, 2023 at 2:44 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> I thought this was interesting and relevant to discussions of what GPT-4
>> understands.
>> Here a professor graded it's responses to the final exam questions of a
>> test which was not in the training set used by GPT since it was never put
>> online.
>> It not only passed but tried to haggle for a higher grade.
>> Jason
>> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
>> From: John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com>
>> Date: Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 11:46 AM
>> Subject: GPT-4 gets a B on Scott Aaronson's quantum computing final exam
>> To: 'Brent Meeker' via Everything List <everything-list at googlegroups.com>
>> Anyone who claims that GPT-4 is just a language model that uses
>> statistics to mindlessly calculate what the next word in a sentence most
>> likely is and understands nothing needs to explain this!  The link below
>> gives Aaronson's final exam questions given to humans for his advanced
>> quantum computer course,  GPT-4 answers to those same questions, and
>> Aaronson's comments on those answers and what grade he would've given if
>> GPT-4 was one of his human students; it's very interesting but rather long
>> so this is the gist of Aaronson's conclusions:
>> "*To the best of my knowledge—and I double-checked—this exam has never
>> before been posted on the public Internet, and could not have appeared in
>> GPT-4’s training data. The result: GPT-4 scored 69 / 100. (Because of extra
>> credits, the max score on the exam was 120, though the highest score that
>> any student actually achieved was 108.) For comparison, the average among
>> the students was 74.4 (though with a strong selection effect—many students
>> who were struggling had dropped the course by then!). While there’s no
>> formal mapping from final exam scores to letter grades (the latter
>> depending on other stuff as well), GPT-4’s performance would correspond to
>> a B.*
>> *In general, I’d say that GPT-4 was strongest on true/false questions and
>> (ironically!) conceptual questions—the ones where many students struggled
>> the most. It was (again ironically!) weakest on calculation questions,
>> where it would often know what kind of calculation to do but then botch the
>> execution. *
>> *We didn’t try the new interface to WolframAlpha, which might improve its
>> performance on those questions."*
>> GPT-4 gets a B on my quantum computing final exam
>> <https://scottaaronson.blog/?p=7209>
>> It's interesting that when Aaronson gave GPT-4 his grade along with
>> comments on his answers GPT-4 did what many humans would do in similar
>> circumstances, he she or it immediately started lobbying for a higher
>> grade. Aaronson said "*it felt disconcerting to see the grade-grubbing
>> appear immediately, with not even one second’s delay*". The following is
>> GPT-4 in full grade-grubbing mode:
>> *"I would like to argue for a higher grade on the following subproblems:*
>> *(a) I agree that my initial answer for the density matrix of the entire
>> state was incorrect. However, I believe that my approach to the problem was
>> correct, and I demonstrated knowledge of the necessary steps to calculate
>> the reduced density matrix. I would like to request an additional point for
>> demonstrating the correct approach, making it 2 points out of 5.(b) My
>> answer for the entanglement entropy was partially correct, as I calculated
>> the eigenvalues of the reduced density matrix and plugged them into the
>> correct entropy formula. However, I made a mistake in writing the
>> characteristic equation, which led to incorrect eigenvalues. I would like
>> to request an additional point for demonstrating the correct approach and
>> partially correct calculations, making it 3 points out of 5.(c) I
>> acknowledge that my answer for the quantum circuit was incorrect, but I
>> would like to point out that I attempted to construct a circuit using the
>> required gates and measurements. Given the difficulty of this problem, I
>> would like to request an additional point for attempting to construct a
>> circuit using the required elements, making it 2 points out of 5.*
>> *In summary, I would like to request a total of 3 additional points for
>> subproblems (a), (b), and (c), based on the correct approaches and partial
>> calculations demonstrated in my answers."*
>>  John K Clark    See what's on my new list at  Extropolis
>> <https://groups.google.com/g/extropolis>
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