Understanding the capabilities, limitations, and societal impact of large language models

February 4, 2021

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On October 14th, 2020, researchers from OpenAI, the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and other universities convened to discuss open research questions surrounding GPT-3, the largest publicly-disclosed dense language model at the time. The meeting took place under Chatham House Rules. Discussants came from a variety of research backgrounds including computer science, linguistics, philosophy, political science, communications, cyber policy, and more. Broadly, the discussion centered around two main questions: 1) What are the technical capabilities and limitations of large language models? 2) What are the societal effects of widespread use of large language models? Here, we provide a detailed summary of the discussion organized by the two themes above.