OpenAI’s GPT-3 system can reasonably make sense of and write human language. It’s still a long way from genuine artificial intelligence, but it may be looked back on as the iPhone of AI, opening the door to countless commercial applications — both benign and potentially dangerous.
After announcing GPT-3 in a paper in May, OpenAI recently began offering a select group of people access to the system’s API to help the nonprofit explore the AI’s full capabilities.
The reaction from many who tried GPT-3 was nothing short of ecstatic. « Playing with GPT-3, » tweeted developer Arram Sabeti, « feels like seeing the future. »
GPT-3 works the same way as predecessors like OpenAI’s GPT-2 and Google’s BERT — analyzing huge swathes of the written internet and using that information to predict which words tend to follow after each other. What sets GPT-3 apart is the vast amount of data it was trained on — half a trillion words.