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July 14, 2023

LLMs Just Don't Understand

I agree with Grady's tweet:


But I also understand (at least I think, I think I do), that it's difficult to describe the subtleties of LLMs and their capabilities at language manipulation and automation without resorting to anthropomorphism at times.

So, I decided to manipulate some tokens using my word calculator to come up with some alternative terms:

Here is the information organized into a Markdown table:

Concept LLM Capability Alternate Terminology
Hallucinations Produces outputs that don't align with established reality, creating novel or unusual responses. Novelty Creation
Reasoning Provides outputs that follow a logical structure based on the context of the input. Logic Simulation
Understanding Generates contextually relevant outputs by processing the semantic structure of the input. Contextual Response
Learning Produces new responses by applying patterns acquired during training. Pattern Use
Memory Uses information embedded in training data to generate responses that seem contextually appropriate. Data Recall
Judgement Produces outputs that appear to evaluate or weigh different factors or options. Evaluation Simulation
Decision-making Selects the most fitting output from a range of possibilities based on the input. Optimal Selection
Reading Processes and understands the structure and semantics of written language. Text Interpretation
Writing Produces written content that follows grammatical rules and matches the context of the input. Text Production
Imagination Generates narratives or scenarios that extend beyond the given input. Scenario Creation
Thinking Generates outputs that seem to display a thought process, achieved by pattern matching based on training data. Simulated Thought Process
Translation Converts a piece of text from one language to another, maintaining the meaning and context. Language Conversion
Listening In the context of voice recognition software, transcribes spoken language into written text. Audio Transcription
Speaking In the context of text-to-speech software, converts written text into spoken language. Speech Synthesis

Would you like to add or modify any entries in this table?

I honestly don't like them because they are clunky and hard to remember.

But I now have a blog article to point to when I see smart people arguing over definitions.