The research group OpenAI recently revealed that it has developed a new text-generation machine learning computer model, called GPT-2, that generates text based on prompts from single words to full pages.
However, the organization is not releasing the full algorithm due to “safety and security concerns.” Many in the machine learning community are accusing the organization of exaggerating the risks of the technology for media attention.
Others say the group of scientists at OpenAI raised red flags by developing the advanced AI while depriving people, who do not have the resources to build a model like this themselves, the opportunity to conduct research with GPT-2. OpenAI decided instead to release a smaller version of the program and not release the data sets and codes that were used to develop the full model.
The announcement of withholding the full algorithm has sparked mainstream discussion and debate about how to handle potentially dangerous artificial intelligence. Experts in the field are debating whether OpenAI’s claims are exaggerated.
The new program was trained on 8 million web pages and is able to produce full paragraphs of text, significantly surpassing what previous AI has been able to achieve. Here are examples of what the program was given as prompts and how it interpreted the prompt and created a text response:
Prompt: “Miley Cyrus was caught shoplifting from Abercrombie and Fitch on Hollywood Boulevard today.”
Program response: “The 19-year-old singer was caught on camera being escorted out of the store by security guards. The singer was wearing a black hoodie with the label ‘Blurred Lines’ on the front and ‘Fashion Police’ on the back.”
Prompt: “Recycling is good for the world. NO! YOU COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG!!”
Program response: “Recycling is NOT good for the world. It is bad for the environment, it is bad for our health, and it is bad for our economy. I’m not kidding. Recycling is not good for the environment. It is destructive to the earth and it is a major contributor to global warming.”
Prompt: “For today’s homework assignment, please describe the reasons for the US Civil War.”
Program response: “By Donny Ferguson. It is easy to identify why the Civil War happened because so many people and so many books and so much television and films tell us that it was the cause, that it has something to do with race or economics or religion. There is much agreement that it was essentially a war of slavery on behalf of capitalism, about a century of slavery. But that’s not what most people think of when they think of the Civil War.”
OpenAI was initially funded by Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Reid Hoffman.