When computer scientists at Microsoft started to experiment with a new artificial intelligence system last year, they asked it to solve a puzzle that should have required an intuitive understanding of the physical world. “Here we have a book, nine eggs, a laptop, a bottle and a nail,” they asked. “Please tell me how to stack them onto each other in a stable manner.”
The researchers were startled by the ingenuity of the A.I. system’s answer. Put the eggs on the book, it said. Arrange the eggs in three rows with space between them. Make sure you don’t crack them. “Place the laptop on top of the eggs, with the screen facing down and the keyboard facing up,” it wrote. “The laptop will fit snugly within the boundaries of the book and the eggs, and its flat and rigid surface will provide a stable platform for the next layer.”
The clever suggestion made the researchers wonder whether they were witnessing a new kind of intelligence. In March, they published a 155-page research paper arguing that the system was a step toward artificial general intelligence, or A.G.I., which is shorthand for a machine that can do anything the human brain can do. The paper was published on an internet research repository.
When people use GPT-4. they are “amazed at its ability to generate text,” Dr. Lee said. “But it turns out to be way better at analyzing and synthesizing and evaluating and judging text than generating it.” When they asked the system to draw a unicorn using a programming language called TiKZ, it instantly generated a program that could draw a unicorn. When they removed the stretch of code that drew the unicorn’s horn and asked the system to modify the program so that it once again drew a unicorn, it did exactly that.
They asked it to write a program that took in a person’s age, sex, weight, height and blood test results and judged whether they were at risk of diabetes. They asked it to write a letter of support for an electron as a U.S. presidential candidate, in the voice of Mahatma Gandhi, addressed to his wife. And they asked it to write a Socratic dialogue that explored the misuses and dangers of L.L.M.s. It did it all in a way that seemed to show an understanding of fields as disparate as politics, physics, history, computer science, medicine and philosophy while combining its knowledge.
英/ ˈsnʌɡli /美/ ˈsnʌɡli /
英/ rɪˈpɒzət(ə)ri /美/ rɪˈpɑːzətɔːri /
英/ ˈjuːnɪkɔːn /美/ ˈjuːnɪkɔːrn /