2024-01-24 chatGPT and the scientific world view

This long (~4K words) essay by Blayne Haggart is one of the better critiques of ChatGPT and the enthusiasm around it that I have read. The title is a good summary of the piece: "ChatGPT Strikes at the Heart of the Scientific World View". It echoes and expands on the "end of theory" notion from Chris Anderson's 2008 Wired piece.

A couple of excerpts (one from the middle and one at the end) provide a flavor of the argument:

"Knowledge through correlation is the ultimate promise of big data and artificial intelligence: that, given enough data and enough computing power, a computer can identify correlations that will speak for themselves — no theory is needed."

"Whether we — as citizens, educators, politicians and businesspeople — have the will to maintain a commitment to science, to placing technology in the service of understanding, is the question at the heart of the debate over artificial intelligence."

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