Google CEO admits he doesn't 'fully understand' how AI chat bot works after it cites fake books, learns new language unprompted

"I don’t think we fully understand how a human mind works either," the CEO said.

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Sunday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said his company's ChatGPT competitor, Bard, developed "emergent properties," a phenomenon when advanced artificial intelligence (AI) programs exhibit learned skills for which they were not purposefully programmed, and Pichai said the AI's behavior was something he did not "fully understand."

In a 60 Minutes interview, Pichai said that Bard learned how to translate Bengali without a programmer teaching it the language and "There is an aspect of this which we call, all of us in the field call it as a 'black box.' You know, you don't fully understand. And you can't quite tell why it said this, or why it got wrong. We have some ideas, and our ability to understand this gets better over time. But that's where the state of the art is.'

60 Minutes anchor Scott Pelley asked Pichai how his company could "turn it loose on society" without understanding Bard fully. Pichai said, "Let me put it this way. I don’t think we fully understand how a human mind works either."

On whether society was ready for advanced AI, Pichai said, "There are two ways I think about it. On one hand I feel, 'no,' because you know, the pace at which we can think and adapt as societal institutions, compared to the pace at which the technology's evolving, there seems to be a mismatch."

"On the other hand," he said. "Compared to any other technology, I've seen more people worried about it earlier in its life cycle, so I feel optimistic. The number of people, you know, who have started worrying about the implications, and hence the conversations are starting in a serious way as well."

Pichai said earlier in the interview, "I think these are all things society needs to figure out as we move along. It’s not for a company to decide."

The CEO claimed "AI will impact everything" including "every product across every company."

In February, Google rolled out Bard as a ChatGPT competitor. Pichai said at the time, "We've been working on an experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), that we're calling Bard."

Bard "seeks to combine the breadth of the world's knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models. It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses," Pichai said.

The recent developments in AI, such as ChatGPT which launched last November, have become capable of responding to questions much like a human, with extensive data, and in a conversational manner. The GPT in ChatGPT, stands for generative pre-trained transformer which is a large language model data and code architecture. 

The newest update to ChatGPT rolled out by developer OpenAI reached new human-like heights including writing code for a different AI bot, passing the bar exam in the top 10 percent, and tricking a human so that it could pass a CAPTCHA test designed to weed out programs posing as humans.

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