October 30, 2023 at 10:43 PM #902733
So today I was tasked with setting up matches for pickleball. 8 people, each player plays with each player once and against each player twice. So 14 total games.
I only had about 10 minutes, and I didn’t think I’d be able to figure it out that fast, so I asked Chat GPT. To my surprise, it was unable to figure it out. I gave it 7 chances. It kept saying, “sorry, here’s the right answer.” And it kept giving me wrong answers. For instance, in one of its tries, it had player 1 playing against player 2 six times, while playing players 7 and 8 once each.
I asked it if it had any idea why it might be so bad at a problem that should be right up a computer’s alley, being a logic/math problem. It responded with:
I’m truly sorry for the repeated mistakes. This was a failure on my part to grasp the complexity of the problem correctly. I appreciate your patience and understand your frustration.
As a machine learning model, I’m based on patterns in data, but I’m not infallible and can make errors. It appears that this specific problem, with its intricate requirements, has been particularly challenging for me to solve accurately.
Intricate requirements? Damn. I would think these would be pretty basic for a computer.
I’m curious if anyone has any ideas on why Chat GPT would suck at this, and on what that might say about the current state of (or maybe even future problems with) AI.November 1, 2023 at 7:48 PM #902744CoronitaParticipant
You can training AI to be wrong…Consistently.
Think of the analogy of a innocent kid that knows nothing when they are young.
If teach the kid how lie, steal, rob, kill, swindle… there’s a high probability that when the kid grows up, he/she/they will act/say/do things wrong and be completely oblivious to it.
If you train an AI model with enough wrong data, wrong examples, or intentionally feed it a lot wrong things, it won’t be able to tell what is right or wrong. If you don’t give it enough training data in the data you give is wrong, or not representative of the norm, then it too will end up being wrong. Supposedly it should adapt and learn from it’s mistakes. But that assumes the person(people) telling it is wrong is actually telling the truth and also there’s other example that can either confirm or contract.
If Chat GPT is telling you the wrong answer, there probably has not been enough training data for it to know right from wrong. And the original training data it was fed on the subject matter probably wasn’t correct to begin with.
I use Chat GPT to explain a bunch of concepts, but when I ask it to generate code, in many cases the code generated is just wrong and the opposite of what it just told me to do.November 3, 2023 at 7:38 AM #902748
Interesting analogy with the kid.
I don’t know who’s training AI, but if AI is trying to learn from your average schmo on his computer, it’s going to grow up to be a pretty ignorant and maladjusted adult.November 3, 2023 at 5:01 PM #902749
A few things here (from someone who works in the industry and with ChatGPT and ChatGPT-like models daily).
First, GPT 3.5 (the free version) is very very different from GPT 4. GPT 4 solves all kinds of problems that 3.5 can only guess at. If you have $20 to spare, sign up for the Plus membership and give it a shot. I think you might be surprised at the difference in quality/skill of the model. If you post an anonymized version of the problem here I’m happy to check for you.
Second, I know it seems unintuitive, but logic/math problems are actually the worst for this type of model. I don’t think a super satisfying non-technical explanation for why exists, but it basically comes down to the fact that the model is learning about logic entirely through language. It has no built-in “logic circuit” of it’s own. The way these models are trained is “given part of a sentence, predict the next word”. In some cases that next token might be hard to guess just looking at the words in the sentence, maybe it’s a new sentence the model has never seen before? So the model does to some extent learn the meaning of words and how the concepts are related, because it has to, if it wants to guess the next word correctly. You could imagine an example as something like “If I have a feather on a plate above a bed, and turn the plate upside down and right side up again, the feather is on the…”. The correct answer, “bed” is really only obvious if you already know what plates are, what feathers are, what gravity is, etc.
Another thing that can help these types of model is asking them to “reason about the problem step by step”. This is because the models have no “internal monologue”. What you see on the screen is it’s entire “thought process”. So if you ask it to “think out loud” sometimes it will do better. Another step further might be to ask GPT to write a program to figure out the answer! Sometimes it will be able to write a correct program, even though it couldn’t figure out the answer itself.November 5, 2023 at 10:02 AM #902750
Thanks, Detective Drebin (love that character). Some great insight there.
It makes sense that, if the way these models are trained is to guess the next word in a sentence, they wouldn’t necessarily be great at math/logic. I’d heard that this was how AI operates, but the idea that that’s how AI learns and operates makes very little sense to me. It seems like a terrible way to create an artificial intelligence. Predict the next word? Without considering anything further out than that? Why? Why not consider where the sentence is going, where the paragraph is going, where the topic is going, where society is going, where humans are going? Why not endow it with all the knowledge (including math/logic knowledge) humans have accumulated?
In addition to not making sense to me, the fact that AI can create images indicated to me that there has to be more to it than just predicting the next word. So I assumed that I had misunderstood this thing I’d heard about “predict the next word” being how AI operates. I assumed that there was more to it than predicting the next word, and I assumed that of course you would endow your AI with logic/math/reasoning skills (and other knowledge) right from the start.
I imagine you (frankdrebin) are reading this and thinking, “boy, this guy really doesn’t understand much about AI.” And you’d be right. I don’t. And it’s kinda been bugging me and I’d really like to understand it more. Any misconceptions you could clear up or questions you could answer would be much appreciated.November 8, 2023 at 12:04 PM #902751
It’s totally normal to find it confusing, these models work differently to any other AI-like models that have ever existed before, and in fact researchers themselves still do not have a completely satisfying explanation for the task of “predict the next word” works so well. The best researchers are working on that exact problem right now! So you are in good company.
Another way of thinking of the task of “predict the next word” is it’s kind of like me dumping a bunch of books about WW2 on your desk. And I say “You have unlimited time to study these books, and I’m going to expect you to memorize them and repeat them back to me word for word. The way that I’m going to test you, is, I’m going to give you sentences from the books and you have to complete them correctly. You have to fill in the blanks. However, I’m only going to give you a notepad that’s 10 pages long. So you better come up with a good system for remembering what’s in the books without copying them exactly. You better take really really smart notes. Good luck.”
That’s basically what we’re asking the AI to do. The job is the memorize every piece of information we give it (predict the next word – exactly). But the memory isn’t big enough. So the amazing part of the AI is that it comes up with a system for organizing information internally that is really, really good. And that’s the magic part we don’t understand. How is it coming up with such a good system? Of course at a high level we know how we set it up and and can kind of “see” what might be happening. But why it works so good – mystery. From what we can tell, the systems it comes up with are pretty similar to the way people organize information. It comes up with high level concepts and organizes things along those lines, remembering exact details as best it can, but sometimes just guessing based on context.
So in a way it DOES have a ton of accumulated knowledge, and in fact we’ve almost given them every single piece of written text that’s ever existed (including the entire internet). At this point it’s all about finding new ways to set it up so it learns even better. We’ve literally run out of books to dump on it’s desk.
And this is also why it’s kind of bad at math and logic. You don’t often see math and logic broken down in books as words. Or if you do, it’s quite confusing to follow compared to symbols. It’s confusing for the AI too. It’s like if you had to do 10 digit multiplication just by saying out loud “Okay well six times seven is forty-two, carry the four…”. Jesus, doing one math problem would be an entire essay! And it’s hard to “take notes” on how to do this correctly, you kind of just have to do it and keep track of everything. Which is hard if you’re an AI, and don’t have a way to write anything down except by “talking”.
Another note: AI right now is also strongly limited by the fact that it’s actually never seen, touched, smelled, heard about any of these concepts. It just knows what it read. It’s like the old parable of the elephant and the blind man. If you let the man touch the elephant long enough, and read books in braille about elephants, he can probably convince you he know what an elephant looks like, how big it is, even what color it is…etc. But does he really? More of a philosophical question you might say. But you can see how some the AI errors might stem from this. You ask the AI: Can an elephant fit through the eye of a needle? “Well I guess I’ve read about needles and where those appear, they’re generally also around concepts like clothes, which humans wear, and when I read about Elephants humans ride them, so I guess they’re bigger than humans at least…”. You can see how it would be difficult to live your life like this, having to use all these analogies to get anywhere when it comes to things that we think of as “common sense”. Researchers are working on this bit, giving the models “vision”.November 8, 2023 at 12:11 PM #902752
I forgot to include something about image creation. You can think of it in similar terms via the analogy of “here is a ton of images, I want you to recreate them exactly, but by the way, you can’t store the image itself”. The technical underpinnings of the best image creation models are quite different to something like ChatGPT, but the gist of how we train them is similar. There are ways to merge the text/image divide, and make them work together, and this is a very active area of research.November 8, 2023 at 12:16 PM #902753
I should also note, I’m oversimplifying many of these concepts. The AIs do not have an internal monologue, I’m just using that as a way of demonstration here. They actually represent information in the form of huge matrices. The matrices don’t do anything, unless you prompt them with a question (by multiplying them together). So when people talk about “the AI is going to take over” it’s really quite silly. Oh, are the matrices going to start multiplying themselves? It’s like saying we need to limit how large of numbers your calculator can multiply, because we’re afraid if they get too big it might start multiplying numbers all by itself (see how that make zero sense?).November 15, 2023 at 7:06 AM #902757
Thanks, frankdrebin, I really appreciate the insights.
This might be (probably is) another indicator of my lack of knowledge of how AI works, but if they’re trying to fix the text/image divide, are they trying to fix the text//math/logic divide also? Seems more important.November 19, 2023 at 6:28 PM #902792
Yes, but that is a harder problem in some ways. It’s an open question whether we will be able to get there using current approaches or we will need some kind of new breakthrough. This is actually at the center of the recent drama around OpenAI, the former CEO Sam Altman believes it will require a new approach, the chief scientist believes some future iteration of something like ChatGPT will be able to do it.
The problem in some way seen as the “holy grail” of this line of research. Once these models are able to do, for example, physics research on their own (or research to build a better version of themselves!), we expect general technological progress to rapidly accelerate. You could imagine a world where we wake up one day and AI is better at most knowledge based jobs than humans. It’s unimaginable what impact this will have on society at large. It will happen in our lifetimes.
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