Zettelkasten Forum

Beware the LLMs!!

TL;DR: LLMs are unreliable, but oh my, this unreliable?!?

I have been working through a beautiful (and funny!) book, A.C. Grayling's "The History of Philosophy" (2019). My main interest has been the ideas therein and less biography, but I decided to have a note each for the major philosophers I care about, and started using Claude 3 Opus (the latest model from Anthropic, claimed to be GPT-4 level) for just the biography part. What could possibly go wrong?!?

Well, in the dozen philosophers I have had Claude write a short bio for, maybe nothing wrong was seen. But then, I am hardly an expert on Thales (born around 624 BC) so wouldn't have spotted a small lie here or there.

So I asked it to write a biographical note for someone I know well --- me. The results were horrendous. I report them in full detail (with correction) here: https://amahabal.substack.com/p/dissecting-the-people-make-errors (as part of the bigger question in response to someone saying "but people make errors, too!").



  • LLM are not there to replace humans, so we shouldn't compare them. I don't think the results are bad, from a writers perspective.

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

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