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a man slumped on his desk, from 'The Sleep of Reason Produces



home-grown talent

I’m downloading the large language model llama-13B-hf as we speak, hoping to get it going on the GPU I have for games. What strange gloss will they put on this moment in history, where machine-learning at home was enabledby videogame users who couldn’t bear to shift from general-purpose computing machines to consoles?

My iron self-discipline will surely prevent me from playing around all night trying to get this to work. My hope is to continue the experiment that I began with GPT3, which is using it to filter and translate my social media feed. Even on Mastodon, I still feel those jolts of anxiety when someone confidently shoots a verbal gunshot into the air, and I watch it arcing across the sky, landing, accidentally or not, into my heart.

(So far, it’s not running because of a capitalization typo. I am impressed that people think we have the wherewithal to practice AI Safety when we can’t even agree on how to capitalize “LlamaTokenizer”.)

Anyway, so my plan is to use this to identify posts that would upset me, and rephrase them in a form that preserves their meaning without giving me that gut-punch. Is that bad? Am I cloaking myself from the truth by doing this? Letting a MACHINE mess with what people are saying to me?

I’m not sure there’s a coherent position that works against that. I choose what I read all the time. I’m seeking to preserve the content of the message, if not its tone. If anything, I’m trying to make it less likely that I’ll ignore, filter, or refuse to engage with it. (I also want this system to summarize and re-iterate the posts that it most mangles, so I’ll always have some extra reminder of what I’m missing.)

Of course, I’m being an absolute angel about how I do this. But will everyone else carefully construct a system to answer the most obvious objections? Another outrage, I guess. But how will I know you’re outraged? How will you know who is doing this at all? (And will they really want to?)

(I got it working. In the initial test of commonsense, it told me that ants have four legs. When I asked it again how many legs an ant has, it said:

“Answer: Six, because you can’t have eight without a pair of pants on.”


(Update: I fed it the Alpaca Lo-Ra. Now it says:

An ant has six legs for movement and to carry its food. Ants use their legs to move around quickly and efficiently, allowing them to find food sources and avoid predators.

Well, mostly it says this. After multiple iterations, it once added that they have another couple of extra legs for picking up food, but hey, easy mistake to make.)

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petit disclaimer:
My employer has enough opinions of its own, without having to have mine too.