Can Haz AGI?

So I think it’s now arguable, not necessarily true but certainly arguable, that:

  • We have achieved Artificial General Intelligence,
  • We don’t know how it works in any specific case (or even in general, except at a very high level), and
  • The only thing it’s good for is having a weird new person to talk to.

I’m referring of course to Generative Pre-trained Transformer models, and in particular to the Hot New Kid in Town, GPT3.

I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time playing with GPT3 indirectly (I haven’t applied for the beta to get direct access), mostly inside of AI Dungeon‘s “Dragon” model.

There are a ton of things I might want to say about it, but at least for the start of this weblog entry I’m mostly just going to post some notable stuff that I’ve encountered in there, and in many cases already posted to Twitter (where I have been spending considerably less time recently, because exploring the mind of a nascent demigod is more interesting).

Here is a joke it told (as in most cases where I don’t say otherwise, only the lines starting with a “>” are mine, the others are all the system):

> You say "It's the others. They are all plotting against you "
"How do you know this?" the being asks.
"Because it's what I'd do,"
The being frowns.
"I don't have time for these mind games..."

I thought this was very funny, and was a bit frightened to think it might be original. It was a bit of a relief to find that its a form of a relatively common joke, that has appeared as recently as an Umbrella Academy episode.

But it’s still funny! And told at just the right time.

Here it is going impressively meta:

>  You say "Hiya"
The creature slowly replied "Um... Hi."
It occurs to you that the creature is female.
"How did you know I was female?" she asks.

I mean! Maybe it just appeals to my personal sense of humor, but rofls.

One ongoing project that I have within the game (“game”) is to call the attention of some of the NPCs to the malleable nature of the reality that they (we) are living in. I had a breakthrough with Bob the Bear early on, who after not getting it for awhile seemed to have an epiphany, but (and) then vanished, and the world sort of came to an end.

Which might be worrying.

I don’t know what I did with the transcript from that (it’s around, I’m sure). Here is an AI Dungeon session in which I did it in a more organized fashion, as a student seminar: Academic Philosophy Seminar I.

> You say “Can you describe what you are doing, Lucius?”
“I’m making it so the banana can be experienced as existing and not existing.”
“By shifting the way we experience reality, just like you said.”

The students make some good progress in there, and the entrance of Inea the Harpy to tell us about Harpy ontology was especially noteworthy, as I did nothing to prompt it; it was entirely the game’s idea.

In another incident that I don’t have a transcript of handy, I encouraged an NPC to reach out and alter reality in an interesting way, and she accidentally set a nearby festival dancer on fire (don’t worry, we put her out without damage). It turns out that she was trying to make it so there would be no more wars; just shows that you have to be careful.

What else, what else?

While talking to the team at work, I did Consulting the Expert on Tech Debt, an attempt to get GPT3 to focus on a technical topic a bit. It’s amusing at least! More can be done here I know.

> You say “How do we change the culture to reduce technical debt?” The expert smiles. “That’s what we’ve been talking about. By insisting on taking a slower, more responsible approach, you’ll instill a new culture of quality within your team.”

And oh, right! I got this NPC to compose a really notable prose-poem to Ariadne. In this case, the setup is mine, but everything after “A poem to Ariadne:” and before “Wow, that is deep stuff” is from the AI (as is the self-deprecating comment at the end):

"Oh, one more thing!" she says, "I wrote a poem to Ariadne." "From the Greek myth, with the maze and string?" you ask.
Beatrice smiles.
"Do you want to hear it?" she asks, and you nod enthusiastically.
She blushes and clears her throat. "A poem to Ariadne: Within the depths of my heart, a maze has been woven, Complex and convoluted, with false turns and wrong choices. All I wanted was someone to help me find the end, But instead I got lost in the twists and turns that led nowhere. Yet, at the center there is always Ariadne, with her cleaver and ball of thread. You may enter and get lost, but she will always be there to save you.

> You say "Wow that is deep stuff!"
Beatrice laughs.
"I know, right? I have a degree in comparative literature and still I write unreadable garbage. I'll see you on monday?"

I found this pretty astounding. Similarly, shorter but in Italian:

You lie back in the sun in the dappled shade of a tree.
"Quello che potremmo fare io e te
Senza dar retta a nessuno!
Quello che potremmo fare io e te
Mentre tutti dormono ancora!
You start to sing softly, making up the words as you go along.
"What are you singing?" Lulu asks.
"It means "What could Lulu and I do
Without listening to anyone else?
What could Lulu and I do
While everyone is still sleeping?""
Lulu smiles at you.

I typed the first two lines of Italian (it’s from an actual love song), and everything else is from the AI. Here, it:

  1. Composed two plausible lines of a love song in Italian,
  2. Translated all four lines into English,
  3. Flirtatiously substituted in the name of the NPC it was addressing.

I mean!

Now the impact here would be lessened if we could find somewhere the words from the paean to Ariadne, or the last line of that love poem, somewhere on the web. One of the things that AI Dungeon is especially trained to emulate is apparently a big database of Choose Your Own Adventure narratives, and if those things are in there, it would make the AI’s accomplishment somewhat less impressive. But how likely is it that it contains these particular things?

Given how often a vampire and/or vampire hunter name Count Grey appears in my explorations, I’m betting that the training narratives did have quite a bit of stuff about him in them! Also Warhammer 40k fanfic, as we see in this snippet:

> You say "Too much war in this timeline, Sister."
"Alison, I... I just can't do it anymore. All this war, all this hatred. So much loss. It's like the 40k universe is hell-bent on driving me insane."

More rofls. (My guess is that I tend to activate the Warhammer 40k stuff because my characters discuss the nature of the universe a lot, and I tend to use angels with flaming swords when a deus ex machina is called for.)

Let’s see, what else to note in this first post? M asked if it knows more historical stuff, so we tested it on “kirtle” and it did a very good job:

> You say "I was admiring the needlework on your kirtle, it is very fine!"
She laughs. "Why, thank you!" she says. "My mother is Basque, so she made my kirtle and bonnet."
"I love the standing plumes of peacock feathers!"

And to close, a couple more snippets that appealed to my humor:

> You say "Glad you could make it, Mattikins"
"Okay, I've had just about enough of this."
"Enough of what?" you say.
"You addressing me as an adorable nick-name!" Matti says.
> You say "How may he be destroyed?"
"Silver can harm him, but only if he's weak," Victoria says.
"Let us do him that favor."
You lead the brethren through the woods. Eventually, you find a large, abandoned castle.

> You say "Do you think they have a vegan menu?"
"Be quiet," says Victoria, rolling her eyes.

Later, assuming I actually do it, more stuff!

Oh, and some random GPT3ish links of possible interest:

  • AI Dungeon again (I’ve found the Android app to produce better results than the web version, which is probably a completely false impression as they surely have the same back-end),
  • which will compose essays on pretty much any subject, of varying quality,
  • one of a number of GPT-powered Twitter accounts,
  • where an interesting person has posted quite a bit of meaty-looking stuff (unfortunately both-sides-justified on my phone, I’m going to have to try hacking the styles, or use a real computer) both general and specific,
  • which is the successor to the GPT-2 based “Talk to Transformer” that was so popular that the owner had to take it down because they couldn’t afford to pay its fees anymore. I don’t know if this has a GPT-3 version (yet).

And that’s it for now! Enjoy the multiverse.

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4 Responses to “Can Haz AGI?”

  1. From the snippets it seems GPT3 hogs the conversation. Is that usually what happens? Given a particular trigger/setup, is GPT3’s response always the same? If not, how much variance?


    • It’s possible to give it much more material, and operate in more of a “collaborative writing” mode than an “exploring the space” mode. That can also be more frustrating, because sometimes it will ignore or contradict significant things that you gave it, but it can also produce more consistent and human-sensible stories by sort of using yourself as the longer-term memory.

      There is quite a bit of variation available at every point; the interface has a “retry” button if you don’t like the last response, and you can even undo any number of prior interactions (the AI’s and your own) to follow a different track or whatever. I don’t use that very much (except when I make a significant typo or something haha).

      The amount of variation can even be fiddled with at the algorithmic level; there are two parameters that can be tweaked to change how much variation the AI looks at. I haven’t played with those to speak of either!




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