The technology at the heart of the Guardian’s GPT-3 op-ed is quite impressive – but it is useless without human inputs and editsThe headline that appe
The technology at the heart of the Guardian’s GPT-3 op-ed is quite impressive – but it is useless without human inputs and edits
The headline that appeared in this opinion page on Tuesday was striking, “A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human?” The claim was disconcerting for many, perhaps most of all for those of us who write op-eds for a living. We felt the alarm of countless knowledge economy workers who toil beneath a computerized sword of Damocles, fearful that our entire career might be replaced in the (not so distant) future by new forms of artificial intelligence. But while the anxiety of economic displacement is quite real, the danger is largely a phantom … at least for now.
The technology at the heart of this week’s op-ed – GPT-3 – is quite impressive. The language generation software is the product of decades of advancement in machine learning, the sub-field of artificial intelligence that builds computer code by feeding systems large volumes of training data. By collecting a historic repository of human-made speech, GPT-3 can map out patterns in how we communicate, using those rules to create new content. In short, it is a sentence generation engine.