gpt-3/lit crit thoughts 

I think it's probably the case that GPT-n and related techniques have "won" the battle of being able to produce convincing text with a statistical model (and related tasks like question answering, summarization etc). but it comes with a limit, and a price, which is the "PT" part—the model has to be pre-trained on a truly bonkers amount of text. OpenAI "feigns impartiality" (cf Algorithms of Oppression) wrt the model but there's actually a huge epistemology problem...

gpt-3/lit crit thoughts 

... in that the interpretability of the model's output is linked to an understanding of the training data, and there's too much training data for anyone to really "understand" it. I wonder if as a consequence DH folks and computational poets (like myself) might find themselves regrouping in a New Criticism/close reading mode, limiting themselves to techniques that *only* analyze individual texts or small corpora, in order to maintain interpretability

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gpt-3/lit crit thoughts 

personally since the Big Language Models came to dominate the discourse, I've found myself as a poet more drawn to the question of "what does *this text* do" rather than "how can you model language competence and literature generally." in other words, I guess I think GPT-n (through its very success!) has shown that modeling "context" with statistics is essentially tilting at windmills

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gpt-3/lit crit thoughts 

this is me just trying to find ways of coping with the fact that the question whose luridness has so far sustained my career ("can a computer write poetry?") is, for most people, about to have a very boring and yawn-inducing answer ("uh... yes?")

gpt-3/lit crit thoughts 

@aparrish this all gestures at just a whole writhing tangle of questions i have mentally placed over to one side for the last few years because actually thinking about them feels like it would make all the stuff i do with computers reaaaaaal hard to think about at the same time.

gpt-3/lit crit thoughts 

@aparrish and maybe by "do with computers" i mean "do with my brain", i guess.

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