Why Meta’s latest large language model only survived three days online

However, Meta and other companies working on large language models, including Google, have failed to take it seriously.

Galactica is a large language model for science, trained on 48 million scientific articles, websites, textbooks, lecture notes, and encyclopedias. Meta promoted its model as a shortcut for researchers and students. In Meta’s words, Galactica “can summarize academic papers, solve math problems, generate Wiki articles, write scientific code, annotate molecules and proteins, and more.”

But the shiny veneer wore through fast. Like all language models, Galactica is a mindless bot that cannot tell fact from fiction. Within hours, scientists were sharing Galactica’s biased and incorrect results on social media. 

“I am both astounded and unsurprised by this new effort,” says Chirag Shah at the University of Washington, who studies search technologies. “When it comes to demoing these things, they look so fantastic, magical, and intelligent. But people still don’t seem to grasp that in principle such things can’t work the way we hype them up to.”

Asked for a statement on why it had removed the demo, Meta pointed MIT Technology Review to a tweet that says: “Thank you everyone for trying the Galactica model demo. We appreciate the feedback we have received so far from the community, and have paused the demo for now. Our models are available for researchers who want to learn more about the work and reproduce results in the paper.”

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