On May 13th, Terence Tao, an award winning Australia-born Chinese mathematician, announced that he and physicist Laura Greene will co-chair a working group studying the impacts of generative artificial intelligence technology on the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The group will hold a public meeting during the PCAST conference on May 19th, where Demis Hassabis, founder of DeepMind and creator of AlphaGo, as well as Stanford University professor Fei-Fei Li among others will give speeches.
According to Terence Tao’s blog, the group mainly researches the impact of generative AI technology in scientific and social fields, including large-scale language models based on text such as ChatGPT, image generators like DALL-E 2 and Midjourney, as well as scientific application models for protein design or weather forecasting. It is worth mentioning that Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, and Phil Venables, Chief Information Security Officer of Google Cloud are also members of this working group.
According to an article posted on the official website of the White House, PCAST develops evidence-based recommendations for the President on matters involving science, technology, and innovation policy, as well as on matters involving scientific and technological information that is needed to inform policy affecting the economy, worker empowerment, education, energy, the environment, public health, national and homeland security, racial equity, and other topics.
After the emergence of ChatGPT, top mathematicians like Terence Tao also paid great attention to it and began exploring how artificial intelligence could help them complete their work. In an article titled “How will AI change mathematics? Rise of chatbots highlights discussion” in the Nature Journal, Andrew Granville, a number theorist at McGill University in Canada, also said that “we are studying a very specific question: will machines change mathematics?” Mathematician Kevin Buzzard agrees, saying that “in fact, now even Fields Medal winners and other very famous mathematicians are interested in this field, which shows that it has become ‘popular’ in an unprecedented way.
Previously, Terence Tao wrote on the decentralized social network Mastodon, ‘Today was the first day that I could definitively say that #GPT4 has saved me a significant amount of tedious work.’ In his experimentation, Terence Tao discovered many hidden features of ChatGPT such as searching for formulas, parsing documents with code formatting, rewriting sentences in academic papers and sometimes even semantically searching incomplete math problems to generate hints.
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