Steven Pinker: Will ChatGPT supplant us as writers, thinkers?

Alvin Powell in The Harvard Gazette:

Steven Pinker thinks ChatGPT is truly impressive — and will be even more so once it “stops making stuff up” and becomes less error-prone. Higher education, indeed, much of the world, was set abuzz in November when OpenAI unveiled its ChatGPT chatbot capable of instantly answering questions (in fact, composing writing in various genres) across a range of fields in a conversational and ostensibly authoritative fashion. Utilizing a type of AI called a large language model (LLM), ChatGPT is able to continuously learn and improve its responses. But just how good can it get? Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, has investigated, among other things, links between the mind, language, and thought in books like the award-winning bestseller “The Language Instinct” and has a few thoughts of his own on whether we should be concerned about ChatGPT’s potential to displace humans as writers and thinkers. Interview was edited for clarity and length.

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