Robo-writers: the rise and risks of language-generating AI

April 17, 2021


A neural network’s size — and therefore its power — is roughly measured by how many parameters it has. These numbers define the strengths of the connections between neurons. More neurons and more connections means more parameters; GPT-3 has 175 billion. The next-largest language model of its kind has 17 billion (see ‘Larger language models’). (In January, Google released a model with 1.6 trillion parameters, but it’s a ‘sparse’ model, meaning each parameter does less work. In terms of performance, this is equivalent to a ‘dense’ model that has between 10 billion and 100 billion parameters, says William Fedus, a researcher at the University of Montreal, Canada, and Google.)