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In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

We survey a current, heated debate in the artificial intelligence (AI) research community on whether large pretrained language models can be said to understand language-and the physical and social situations language encodes-in any humanlike sense. We describe arguments that have been made for and against such understanding and key questions for the broader sciences of intelligence that have arisen in light of these arguments. We contend that an extended science of intelligence can be developed that will provide insight into distinct modes of understanding, their strengths and limitations, and the challenge of integrating diverse forms of cognition.

Mitchell Melanie, Krakauer David C


artificial intelligence, large language models, understanding