What Happens When AI Has Read Everything?

Source: The Atlantic
by Ross Andersen

“Locked into airtight Borgesian libraries for months with no bathroom breaks or sleep, AIs are told not to emerge until they’ve finished a self-paced speed course in human culture. On the syllabus: a decent fraction of all the surviving text that we have ever produced. When AIs surface from these epic study sessions, they possess astonishing new abilities. … These successes suggest a promising way forward for AI’s development: Just shovel ever-larger amounts of human-created text into its maw, and wait for wondrous new skills to manifest. With enough data, this approach could perhaps even yield a more fluid intelligence, or a humanlike artificial mind akin to those that haunt nearly all of our mythologies of the future. The trouble is that, like other high-end human cultural products, good prose ranks among the most difficult things to produce in the known universe.” (01/18/23)