Sapiens and Chatbots

Seldom in the history of AI has a new product release been met with such widespread enthusiasm and consternation as OpenAI’s ChatGPT. New Sapience has been working on a compact scalable way to endow machines with knowledge of the underlying reality that language refers to and is built upon. Naturally we are being asked about how ChatGPT relates to our work. Is it a giant step toward Strong AI (or AGI) or is it just a better (and perhaps scarier) illusion of intelligence?

Aspirational AI

It happens like this: someone has a theory about what intelligence is and develops some software to implement it.  Even if it does not work or doesn’t do anything that looks like intelligence, it is still considered “AI” because that is what they were aspiring to create.

The Hidden Structure

Complex ideas are aggregates of simpler ones. The inescapable conclusion is that, if you keep decomposing ideas into their components, at some point you get to the end, or rather the beginning. This is the same conjecture that Democritus made about the material world: if you keep breaking things apart, eventually you get to the indivisible pieces he called “atoms.”

Artificial Neural Networks

Today, the technical community, including Big Tech, government and academia have embraced artificial neural networks (ANNs) and Machine Learning (ML) as their preferred methodology. While this “data science” has led to many amazing applications that are impacting the way we live and work, misconceptions about what it is and its potential are widespread.

How we got here.

Some inventions, like our sapiens, come “out of left field,” the result of a series of unforeseeable influences and events, pieces of a puzzle that come together at a certain point in time independent of and often contrary to the technology mainstream.

Knowledge and Language

The relationship between language and knowledge has fascinated philosophers since ancient times. One theory is that language is a prerequisite for knowledge and that knowledge cannot exist without it. We talk as though language contains knowledge. But a simple thought experiment proves otherwise.