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kleinbl00  ·  211 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Stephen Wolfram: What Is ChatGPT Doing … and Why Does It Work?

Stephen Wolfram is really great to hear from on this discussion because he's been tricking computers into doing useful things for 40 years while this entire enterprise is tricking computers into doing impressive things.

I did a pre-engineering curriculum that used Mathematica and Matlab. I transferred to an engineering curriculum that used Excel. I had about two months worth of "I have made a terrible mistake" followed by "this is a clown show" followed by "well fuck it's mostly just picking parts out of McMaster-Carr anyway" but I died a little inside.

Nobody I went to school with had the first clue how to work Matlab. They'd never heard of Mathematica. But oh shit - give 'em something tricky and they'd show you how to use Solver! Brute force that fucker, go get some coffee and use the sum of your college experience to that point to determine whether or not the answer was bullshit.

Most of them couldn't tell.

You can't type gibberish into Wolfram Alpha. You will ask it a properly formatted question or it will give you a bad answer. It'll give you plenty of tips as to how to ask good questions, and they really want to convert you to the Church of Getting It? But they won't hold your hand.

Microsoft, Google and OpenAI won't even show you the context.