*2024-07-28 Gary Marcus*

My strong intuition, having studied neural networks for over 30 years (they were part of my dissertation) and LLMs since 2019, is that LLMs are simply never going to work reliably, at least not in the general form that so many people last year seemed to be hoping. Perhaps the deepest problem is that LLMs literally can’t sanity-check their own work.

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Since LLMs inevitably hallucinate and are constitutionally incapable of checking their own work, there are really only two possibilities: we abandon them, or we use them as components in larger systems that can reason and plan better, much as grownups and older children use times tables as part of a solution for multiplication, but not the whole solution.

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The idea is to try to take the best of two worlds, combining (akin to Kahneman’s System I and System II), neural networks, which are good at kind of quick intuition from familiar examples (a la Kahneman’s System I) with explicit symbolic systems that use formal logic and other reasoning tools (a la Kahneman’s System II).

https://garymarcus.substack.com/p/alphaproof-alphageometry-chatgpt