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Large Language Models and the AI Apocalypse

Paul Kockelman

A critical exegesis of large language models, like ChatGPT, and recent advances in artificial intelligence.

If speech has long been an emblem of the human species, then talking machines seem to be harbingers of some kind of technological singularity. Indeed, if the brilliance—or at least eloquence—of large language models is any indication, we seem to be poised at the threshold of general AI, a form of artificial intelligence that will not only surpass human intelligence but maybe even replace humans altogether.

This slim text lays out a critical genealogy of the highly contested relation between human values, machinic parameters, and corporate powers. It also provides a theory of the reasons for, and effects of, our current social and technological horizon.

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