Key points Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT can produce effective summaries of text. ChatGPT was able to provide a good summary of the replication crisis in psychology and proposed solutions, an area the author is an expert in. Using large language models to produce basic summaries of text can speed up writing, but it misses elements of style in technical writing. There have been a flood of articles about new artificial intelligence (AI) models that can generate text—including entire essays—for you. I've worked and written a bit about AI in the past, but I really didn't want to write another piece about ChatGPT. They inevitably feel a bit breathless and awe-struck, as if this new generation of large language models (LLMs) overwhelms the typical journalistic snark. I know, in broad strokes, how these models detect and reproduce patterns they've encoded through millions of training examples (as one commenter I saw put it: the entire internet, to a first approximation). I don't believe it's thought or sentience to be able to encode and reproduce even the very complex patterns seen in human language. (For an account of what it means to be alive, I'd recommend people read the work of philosopher Francisco Varela.) And yet. Here I am, writing about ChatGPT. The thing is, it's very impressive. Playing with it recently, I asked ChatGPT to generate the kind of content I regularly produce for this blog: an essay on the replication crisis […]
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