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Gordon Hull
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By Gordon Hull There’s been a lot of concern about the role of language models in research. I had some initial thoughts on some of that based around Foucault and authorial responsibility (part 1, part 2, part 3). A lot of those concerns have to do with the role of... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Last time, I followed a reading of Kathleen Creel’s recent “Transparency in Complex Computational Systems” to think about the ways that RLHF (Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback) in Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT necessarily involves an opaque, implicit normativity. To recap: RLHF improves the models by... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull This is somewhat circuitous – but I want to approach the question of Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback (RLHF) by way of recent work on algorithmic transparency. So bear with me… RLHF is currently all the rage in improving large language models (LLMs). Basically, it’s a way... Continue reading
Another case percolating through the system, this one about Westlaw headnotes. The judge basically ruled against a series of motions for summary judgment, which means that the case is going to a jury. Discussion here (link via Copyhype) Continue reading
This article from Gizmodo reports on research done over at Mozilla. Newer cars – the ones that connect to the internet and have lots of cameras – are privacy disasters. Here’s a paragraph to give you a sense of the epic scope of the disaster: “The worst offender was Nissan,... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull I’ve been developing (first, second, third, fourth) some reflections on what Foucault means by a reference to “Chardino-Marxism,” a disturbing trend that he credits Althusser with “courageously fighting.” The real opposition point seems to be Roger Garaudy, a PCF intellectual who is a leader in the effort... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Over the course of a few posts (first, second, third), I’ve been exploring the question of what Foucault means when he refers disparagingly to “Chardino-Marxism” in a mid-1960s interview, comparing it unfavorably to what Althusser and his circle are doing. Although the “Chardino” part refers to Teilhard... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull This one has been percolating a while… Steven Thaler’s AI created a picture (below the fold), and Thaler has been using it to push for the copyrightability of AI-generated material. That endeavor has been getting nowhere, and a DC District Court just ruled on the question of... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull The last couple of times (here then here), I’ve started trying to work through a disparaging reference in the mid-1960s Foucault to “Chardino-Marxism.” Foucault is associating it with Marxist humanism, and comparing it unfavorably to the Althusserian alternative. As I noted, the name Foucault uses is Teilhard... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Last time, I noted that mid-late 1960s Foucault aligned himself in favor of Althusser’s work on Marx, and against what he called “Chardino-Marxism,” which turns out to be a shorthand for humanist Marxism, in particular any efforts to synthesize Marx and Teilhard de Chardin, as well as... Continue reading
By Gordon hull In a 1966 interview with Madeline Chapsal, Foucault proposes that “our task currently is to definitively liberate ourselves from humanism” and offers the following example: “Our task is to free ourselves definitively from humanism, and it is in this sense that our work is political work, insofar... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Last time, I followed up on a reference in Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan’s Code to Foucault’s short text “Message ou bruit” (1966). Here I want to trace out some of the political implications of that text, or at least to suggest a path from it to some of... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Last time, I offered a quick synopsis of Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan’s excellent new book Code. Here, I’d like to track one specific Foucault reference in it. Geoghegan takes Lévi-Strauss’s Savage Mind as a central text in the ambivalence French theorists came to feel about American communication theories,... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull I made myself wait until I was settled into the summer to read Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan’s Code: From Information Theory to French Theory. It was absolutely worth the wait. Code offers a look into the role of cybernetic theory in the development of postwar French theory, especially... Continue reading
In the face of the general disaster of the Republican majority on the Supreme Court’s ongoing power grab in the student loan case, I worry that the damage of the LGBTQ Wedding Website decision, Creative LLC v. Elenis, will get overlooked. It seems to me, based mainly on a reading... Continue reading
Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT are well-known to hallucinate – to make up answers that sound pretty plausible, but have no relation to reality. That of course is because they’re designed to produce text that sounds about right given a prompt. What sounds kind of right may or may... Continue reading
Recall that ChatGPT a couple of months ago did a total face plant on the topic of Kierkegaard's knight of faith from the knight of infinite resignation. Well, with the fullness of time and an upgrade, it's a lot better now: (screen grabs below the fold) The previous version was... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull In the previous two posts (here and here) I’ve developed a political account of authorship (according to which whether we should treat an AI as an author for journal articles and the like is a political question, not one about what the AI is, or whether its... Continue reading
As if Sartre didn't produce enough words all by himself! ChatGPT's response to the following prompt is instructive for those of us who are concerned about ChatGPT being used to cheat. Read past the content of the answer to notice the made-up citations. The "consciousness is a question..." line is... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull As I argued last time, authorship is a political function, and we should be applying that construction of it to understand whether AI should be considered an author. Here is a first reason for doing so: AI can’t really be “accountable.” (a) Research accountability: The various journal... Continue reading
You know how sometimes your students don't do the reading? And then how, when you give them a writing prompt based on it, they try to guess their way to a good answer from the everyday meaning of the words in the prompt? And how, sometimes, the outcome is spectacularly,... Continue reading
The MA Program at UNC Charlotte has a number of funded lines for our two-year MA program in philosophy. We're an eclectic, practically-oriented department that emphasizes working across disciplines and philosophical traditions. If that sounds like you, or a student you know - get in touch! You can email me... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Large Language Models (LLMs) like Chat-GPT burst into public consciousness sometime in the second half of last year, and Chat-GPT’s impressive results have led to a wave of concern about the future viability of any profession that depends on writing, or on teaching writing in education. A... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Last time, I introduced a number of philosophy of law examples in the context of ML systems and suggested that they might be helpful in thinking differently, and more productively, about holding ML systems accountable. Here I want to make the application specific. So: how do these... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull AI systems are notoriously opaque black boxes. In a now standard paper, Jenna Burrell dissects this notion of opacity into three versions. The first is when companies deliberately hide information about their algorithms, to avoid competition, maintain trade secrets, and to guard against gaming their algorithms, as... Continue reading