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What's AGI, and Why Are AI Experts Skeptical?

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A chatbot drafts answers token by token to predict the next word in a response, but humans open their mouths to express more fully formed ideas.

Credit: MirageC/Getty Images

Vishal Misra loves cricket and computer science. Years ago, the Columbia University professor cofounded Cricinfo, a collaborative website for sports fans to stay updated on match statistics. (It's now part of ESPN.) In 2021, he created a search tool using GPT-3 that enables cricket lovers to sift through Cricinfo's substantial database with conversational queries.

So, what does Misra think about GPT-4, the newest release from OpenAI? He's excited to show me how to break the algorithm. "It can solve some equations, it can draw diagrams, and it can analyze things quite nicely. But sometimes it fails at simple things," he says. The correspondence with ChatGPT below shows how a chatbot can stumble—with confidence.

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