Is AI finally closing in on human intelligence?

Is AI finally closing in on human intelligence?

GPT-3 has been hailed as an artificial intelligence breakthrough. John Thornhill tries it out and assesses the rewards — and the risks

It can churn out emails, computer code, internet ads, plotlines for video games, guitar riffs and suggestions for Halloween costumes. It can write disarmingly plausible poems in the spirit of Emily Dickinson, prose in the style of Ernest Hemingway and even, if so instructed, an imaginary conversation between Dickinson and Hemingway.

The possibilities seem almost endless. So when I had the opportunity to interact with GPT-3, a new language-generation model that has caused a sensation in the artificial intelligence world over the past few months, I enlisted its help in drafting myself a new biography, infused with the spirit of Star Wars hero Luke Skywalker.

Trained on pretty much all the text accessible on the internet, GPT-3 is remarkable for its speed, scale and versatility. This is what it instantaneously produced: “John Thornhill was already a decorated war hero when he joined the Rebel Alliance. He was experienced with a blaster and intuitive when it came to the art of war, but his true skill lay with his squadron. Rising to command a squadron of his own in the Rebellion, John would lead his team through numerous battles, making him a steadfast leader with the spirit of a true Rebel.” Time to update my business cards.