I was going to write about the Fed today, but instead I thought I’d do something a little more fun. So today I’m going to ask the entertaining and

Lovecraftian intelligence - by Noah Smith - Noahpinion

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2022-09-22 02:30:17

I was going to write about the Fed today, but instead I thought I’d do something a little more fun. So today I’m going to ask the entertaining and silly question: Is AI an incomprehensible cosmic horror out of the pages of an H.P. Lovecraft story?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with H.P. Lovecraft, he was a horror fantasy writer who lived in New England a century ago. His stories often center around humans encountering various incomprehensible monsters and super-beings from outer space or other dimensions, and generally going insane as a result. The most famous of these monsters is the famous octopus-headed bat-winged giant Cthulhu, but there are lots of even wackier entities with names like “Yog-Sothoth”, “Azathoth”, and “Nyarlathotep”. (He was also famously racist; I quit this “Hitler or Lovecraft?” quiz halfway through after getting every question wrong!)

But this post isn’t really about Lovecraft; it’s about AI. Recently, generative AI — as opposed to traditional “analytical” AI — has been getting a huge amount of press in the tech world, prompted by advances in Large Language Models (LLMs) and the release of popular AI art generation apps like Stable Diffusion.

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