[ExI] An article from an AI-skeptic.

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Apr 13 21:57:47 UTC 2024

On Sat, 13 Apr 2024 at 20:00, Dave S via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Wow, that's a whole lot of words to make a simple point. I don't see any
similarity between a psychic cold reading con and an interaction with an
> I ask a simple or complex question and get a coherent response that's
more than one would expect from statistical language generation. I'd expect
a series of grammatically correct sentences that aren't coherent as a
whole. How LLMs are able to generate responses that aren't just random
babble mystifies me.
> _______________________________________________

It also mystifies me. It seems that generating correct sentences is only a
relatively small final part of the process.
I asked Claude to explain how he does the trick. I don't think I really
even understand the explanation!  :)

Large Language Models (LLMs) are a type of artificial intelligence that use
deep learning techniques to process and generate human-like text. They are
trained on vast amounts of text data, allowing them to learn patterns,
grammar, and contextual relationships within the language. Here's a
detailed explanation of how LLMs work:

1. Architecture:
   - LLMs are based on neural network architectures, such as Transformer
models (e.g., GPT, BERT).
   - These models consist of multiple layers of interconnected nodes
(neurons) that process and transform input data.
   - The Transformer architecture introduces self-attention mechanisms,
allowing the model to weigh the importance of different words in a sequence.

2. Training Data:
   - LLMs are trained on massive amounts of text data, often sourced from
the internet, books, articles, and other written content.
   - The training data covers a wide range of topics, genres, and styles to
expose the model to diverse language patterns.
   - The data is preprocessed to remove noise, formatting, and irrelevant

3. Tokenization:
   - The input text is tokenized, breaking it down into smaller units
called tokens (e.g., words, subwords, or characters).
   - Tokenization helps the model understand and process the text at a
granular level.

4. Embedding:
   - Each token is converted into a dense vector representation called an
   - Embeddings capture the semantic and syntactic relationships between
   - The model learns these embeddings during training, allowing it to
understand the meaning and context of words.

5. Training Process:
   - The LLM is trained using a self-supervised learning approach, where
the model learns to predict the next token given the previous tokens.
   - During training, the model adjusts its internal parameters (weights)
to minimize the difference between its predictions and the actual next
token in the training data.
   - This process is repeated iteratively over the entire training dataset,
allowing the model to learn patterns and relationships in the language.

6. Attention Mechanism:
   - The self-attention mechanism in Transformer-based LLMs allows the
model to attend to different parts of the input sequence.
   - It calculates attention scores between each token and every other
token in the sequence, determining their relevance and dependencies.
   - This enables the model to capture long-range dependencies and
understand the context of the input.

7. Generation:
   - Once trained, an LLM can generate text by predicting the next token
based on the given input or prompt.
   - The model uses its learned knowledge and patterns to generate coherent
and contextually relevant text.
   - Techniques like beam search or top-k sampling are used to select the
most probable next tokens and generate diverse outputs.

8. Fine-tuning and Adaptation:
   - LLMs can be fine-tuned on specific tasks or domains by further
training them on task-specific data.
   - Fine-tuning allows the model to adapt its knowledge to a particular
application or context.
   - This enables LLMs to perform various tasks, such as question
answering, text summarization, translation, and more.

LLMs have achieved remarkable performance in natural language processing
tasks due to their ability to capture and generate human-like text. They
have transformed various domains, including language translation, content
generation, sentiment analysis, and conversational AI.

However, LLMs also have limitations, such as potential biases present in
the training data, lack of explicit reasoning capabilities, and difficulty
in handling tasks that require external knowledge or common sense
reasoning. Ongoing research aims to address these challenges and further
improve the capabilities of LLMs.
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