OpenAI Codex, GPT-3, Robotics, and the Future of AI (#215) | Wojciech Zaremba on The Lex Fridman Podcast

Check out the Lex Fridman Podcast episode page

​​Key Takeaways

  • Three levers for intelligent artificial systems: computation, algorithms, and data
    • Neural networks – programs with intelligence and depth that allow multiple steps of computation
    • Deep Learning provides space for these neural networks to be searchable and actionable
    • Reinforcement learning – optimal algorithm for learning & intelligence. Learning environment created for maximum cumulative reward from a data stream.
    • Compression – a process of encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation
  • As pattern recognition and prediction making improves at a compounding rate, intelligence starts to look a lot like consciousness
  • Wojciech Zaremba is working on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence with OpenAI
    • GPT-3 – a neural network that is trained to identify the next meaningful word in sentences
      • Understands background context and arbitrary personality when participating in communication
      • Could one day assist in the formulation of AI friendships and relationships
    • OpenAI Codex – AI system that translates natural language into code; Codex is offered as an API
      • Imports code from places like StackOverflow and adjusts it based on the context of your project to solve your text-based request
      • Brings humans closer to computers, creates more of a shared language for productivity even among non-technical people
      • Creates incredible efficiency in translating an idea into a technological solution
  • Wojciech recommends meditation – helps achieve his mental zero balance allowing him to receive memoryless and raw incoming sensory information
    • “You experience things without a prompt” Wojciech Zaremba on meditations ability dissolve the ego

Intro

  • Wojciech Zaremba (@woj_zaremba) is the co-founder of artificial intelligence leader, OpenAI and is the head of language and cogeneration teams with a focus on Copilot, Codex, and GPT-(n+1). Wojciech and Lex discuss OpenAI’s impact on artificial intelligence and what the future of technology looks like, as well as some topical issues including meditation and the universe.
  • Host: Lex Fridman (@lexfridman)

Artificial Intelligence

  • Three levers for intelligent artificial systems: computation, algorithms, data
  • Life vs. intelligence vs. consciousness?
    • Life represents a sufficient amount of properties to create a continuous cycle
    • As pattern recognition and prediction making improves at a compounding rate, intelligence starts to look a lot like consciousness
  • Reinforcement learning – optimal algorithm for learning & intelligence. Learning environment created for maximum cumulative reward from a data stream.
  • Marcus Hutter – believes intelligence equals compression, the process of encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation. Perfection of your craft per se.
  • What is love from an AI perspective?
    • Human connection derives from a basic variable reward function to achieve shared optimization
    • Empathy comes from the understanding of our counterparts suffering, which is a dilemma for emulating consciousness through an AI system
      • Scientific progress can be made when we figure out how to assign a value to consciousness

Deep Learning & Neural Networks

  • Neural networks represent programs that have intelligence and depth that allows multiple steps of computation
    • “Neural networks are inspired by the human brain, there’s connections among neurons, millions and billions of inputs and outputs, and the learning occurs by adjusting the weights on the edges of these neurons” – Lex Fridman
  • Deep Learning provides space for these neural networks to be searchable and actionable
    • Stochastic gradient descent – repeated algorithm until the lowest point of a function is obtained
      • This algorithm is the core of learning which was originally discovered in the 18th century
      • Ego often gets in the way in the field, researchers want to ignore that such a simple algorithm can be the answer to many of their problems
  • Potential opportunities for deep learning integration to increase the overall well-being of society:
    • Therapy, Meditation, Human connection, Pharmacology, Direct brain stimulation

GPT-3

  • GPT-3 is a neural network that is trained to identify the next meaningful word in sentences
    • A lot of problems can be solved with text completion
      • Can be very useful for language translations and predicting proper grammar and syntax
    • Understands background context and arbitrary personality when participating in communication
      • Example: Can not only predict what Elon Musk would say but would add his personality and unique syntax to the essence of the communication
    • Not trained on its own mistakes. No loop to identify inaccurate information, it will proceed with the given information.
  • Could one day assist in the formulation of AI friendships and relationships

OpenAI Codex

  • OpenAI Codex – AI system that translates natural language into code, Codex is offered as API
    • Imports code from places like StackOverflow and adjusts it based on the context of your project to solve your text-based request
    • GitHub Copilot – GitHub product that runs on Codex
  • Brings humans closer to computers, creates more of a shared language for productivity
    • Will open the door to more creative people to participate in coding, without a technical mind
    • Makes ideas instantly technologically actionable and efficient
  • Makes the massive database of opensource code instantly searchable

Robotics

  • Is it possible to teach robots to complete arbitrary tasks in the physical world?
    • Robots presently are optimized for singular task-oriented work
      • Example: If you build a robot to open a bottle, you end up with a fancy bottle opener
  • The future of robotics is using neural networks to compete in an unlimited range of simulations
    • Wojciech describes his robot project that can solve a Rubik’s Cube
  • Lex believes the first largely successful robotics industry will be in-home services, Wojciech believes it will be self-driving cars
  • Humans are harsher on robots than we are on humans
    • An accident with a self-driving car is highly scrutinized in society
    • With innovation, personal experience counteracts fear

Psychedelics & Meditation

  • “We live in a subjective simulation of our own brain, it can be very pleasant or very hellish”Wojciech Zaremba
    • Drugs change the hyperparameters of your own simulation and give you the ability to see yourself from a different perspective
  • Wojciech treats mediation as a psychedelic experience
    • Vipassana Meditation – breathing focused meditation practice which literally means, “to see things as they really are”
    • Wojciech describes the meditation as approaching zero in your email inbox. Once you resolve all your inner traumas, the default state of the human mind is extremely peaceful.
      • Enjoying the memoryless and raw sense of incoming sensory information
      • “You experience things without a prompt” Wojciech Zaremba on meditations ability dissolve the ego
  • Wojciech recommends meditation retreats because they allow you to receive it in the appropriate dose in quantity and quality
    • If you’re waiting for results or waiting for it to be over, it will not be a good experience
      • Embrace suffering, remove your metal reaction, and observe your body’s natural reaction
        • Activity: Take a cold shower, don’t escape from it, and become an observer. See how you feel.
  • Wojciech often rents an AirBnB for multiple days while leaving his phone at home
    • This helps him formulate new thoughts rather than being reactive

Theories on the Universe & Life

  • The Fermi Paradox – the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial life and various high estimates for their probability
    • Wojciech believes we are alone in the universe which makes life and consciousness more valuable
      • Intelligent life is truly unique
  • Lex hopes that we have some preservation method of our history in the inevitable instance that our human civilization ceases to exist
    • Wojciech believes we need to assign a more appropriate monetary cost to things such as the pollution of air and water to incentivize earth/life preservation
    • We must measure the things we value
    • “Science comes to the rescue” – Wojciech Zaremba
  • “I’m a naïve hippie” – Wojciech Zaremba explaining his positive outlook for life and technology in a world full of political strain and misaligned values

Good Ideas & Life Advice

  • Analyze why your idea hasn’t been studied or tested by someone else
  • Get in the habit of forming ideas and suspend your initial judgments
    • Creates a mental environment for proper exploration of the idea
  • Follow your passions and double down on them
  • The fundamental meaning of life surrounds curiosity and optimizing our reward function
Lex Fridman Podcast : , , , , ,
Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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