On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big?

17 February 2021, 1.00 PM - 17 February 2021, 2.00 PM

via Zoom

Data Ethics Club



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Please join us for our next Data Ethics Club meeting on Wednesday 17-02-21 1pm-2pm. You don't need to register, just pop in. This time we're going to discuss On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big? by Emily M. Bender and Timnit Gebru (joint first authors) and colleagues, which is the paper that got Timnit fired from Google.

Discussion points

  • There will be time to talk about whatever we like, relating to the paper, but here are some specific questions to think about while you're reading:

    • Do you find it (counter-)intuitive that AI-generated text is without meaning, i.e. that the AI is a "stochastic parrot"?
    • What are the implications of the meaninglessness of AI-generated content in other contexts?
    • What are the implications of the fact that Google did not want this paper published?

This paper is a bit more technical than our previous ones. In any good journal club, the discussion is an opportunity to ask questions about any bits that you didn't understand, so keeping a note of any questions you might have will be helpful in sparking discussion, too.

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Email us if you’d like to be involved in organising, or to suggest some reading material (which you can also do through our GitHub).

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