Asking GPT-3 About Covid-19
About GPT-3 Covid-19
The current version of GPT-3, however, was only trained on data gathered through October of 2019. That means that GPT-3 has never heard of Covid-19, since the virus only started circulating broadly in December of that year. In testing the system, Thomas Smith from Gado Images wondered what would happen if he taught GPT-3 about Covid-19, and then asked it questions about the pandemic. How would it respond, and would its answers match at all with the reality of how Covid-19 has unfolded?
Asking a system like GPT-3 about Covid-19 may one day be more than just an academic exercise. AI systems often lack common sense, but they’re fantastic pattern detectors. In many cases, a well-trained deep learning system can spot patterns which humans would miss. If the world again faced a novel virus similar to Covid-19, future decision-makers could train a system like GPT-3 using what’s known about the novel pathogen, and then ask it targeted questions about the virus itself or the future course of the new pandemic.
Such as system could potentially find connections to previous pandemics, similarities to other pathogens, and other useful patterns. It could then use these to guide recommendations, suggest useful public health measures, or even predict the likely course of the novel virus’ spread. Again, while GPT-3’s predictions about Covid-19 weren’t perfect, it got key facts (like the fact that the virus spreads through the air and the importance of mask-wearing) right, using information that would have been available to public health leaders as early as February of 2020.