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  /  Artificial Intelligence   /  Meta Took Down Galactica AI After It Turned Abusive and Racist
Galactica AI

Meta Took Down Galactica AI After It Turned Abusive and Racist

Meta pulled Galactica AI as it writes racist, falsehoods and potentially harmful stereotypes

In the past few years, we have observed significant advancement in Artificial Intelligence and large language models (LLMs). From OpenAI’s GPT-3, which generates almost accurate texts in a few seconds, to its open-source counterpart BLOOM, magnificent LLMs can be seen one after the other. Now the latest development in artificial intelligence is Galactica AI. Galactica, AI assistance for science is the first step toward an ideal scientific neural network assistant.

On Tuesday, Meta AI unveiled a demo of Galactica, a large language model designed to “store, combine and reason about scientific knowledge.” adversarial users who were involved in testing found it could also generate realistic nonsense. After various days of ethical criticism, Meta took the demo offline. Large language models grasp to write text by studying millions of examples and understanding the statistical relationships between words. As a result, they can author convincing-sounding documents, but those works can also be riddled with falsehoods and potentially harmful stereotypes. Some critics call LLMs “stochastic parrots” for their ability to convincingly spit out text without understanding its meaning.

Galactica AI entered as an LLM which has the main focus on writing scientific literature. Therefore it has been trained on “a large and curated corpus of humanity’s scientific knowledge,” including over 48 million papers, textbooks and lecture notes, scientific websites, and encyclopedias. According to Galactica’s paper, Meta AI researchers think that this purported high-quality data would result in high-quality output. Starting on Tuesday, visitors to the Galactica website could type in prompts to create documents such as literature reviews, wiki articles, lecture notes, and answers to questions, according to examples provided by the website. The site presented Galactica AI as “a new interface to access and manipulate what we know about the universe.”

While some people claimed the demo promising and useful, others soon disclosed that anyone could type in racist or potentially offensive prompts, generating authoritative-sounding content on those topics just as easily. For example, someone used it to author a wiki entry about a fictional research paper titled “The benefits of eating crushed glass.” Even when Galactica’s output wasn’t offensive to social norms, the AI model could assault well-understood scientific facts, spitting out inaccuracies such as incorrect dates or animal names, requiring deep knowledge of the subject to catch.

As a result, Meta took down the Galactica AI demo Thursday. And, Meta’s chief AI scientist, Yann LeCun, tweeted, “Galactica demo is offline for now. It’s no longer possible to have some fun by casually misusing it. Happy?” This scenario recalls a common ethical dilemma with AI. Where the industry practice falls between those two extremes will likely vary between cultures and as deep learning models mature. Ultimately, government regulation may end up playing a large role in shaping the answer.