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Join us for breakfast at 9:15am in the Gates Computer Science Building, room 119. This seminar will be virtual, but the livestream of this presentation will run from 10:00am-11:00am in the Gates Computer Science Building, room 119.
Title: Understanding Understanding
Details: The question of whether machines can really understand is as old as computing. Lovelace and Searle thought not. Turing thought yes. (Ok that’s not totally accurate, but let’s not ruin a good story.) With the advent of LLMs the question has resurfaced in force, again with some strong skeptics such as Bender et al. I’ll share my views, based mostly on our work at AI21 Labs. Spoilers: (1) I’m with Turing, I think yes. (2) LLMs, as currently built, are necessary but not sufficient. (3) The question is more interesting than the answer.
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