Seminar Series

Large Language Models and ChatGPT: What They Are and What They Are Not

Expeditions in Experiential AI Seminar
Senior Research Scientist
Northeastern University's Curry Student Center (room 333) and online
1 - 2 PM ET
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Walid Saba, senior research scientist at the Institute for Experiential AI, presented his Expeditions in Experiential AI seminar titled "Large Language Models and ChatGPT: What They Are and What They Are Not" on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 at Northeastern University's Curry Student Center (room 333) and online.


Large language models (LLMs) and chatbots built on top of these models (e.g., ChatGPT) are now all the rage and have triggered the discussion of many serious issues in all aspects of our society from education to business and government. But what is at the heart of these new developments, and what do they represent? Is human-level artificial general intelligence (AGI) finally here? If not, how close do LLMs and systems like ChatGPT are to AGI? Saba discussed these issues at a very basic level, addressing in the process issues such as bias and toxicity in LLMs, and what is now commonly referred to as “hallucination”. He briefly discussed how such technologies can be effectively used in a number of applications, sifted through the hype and also discussed the limitations of LLMs and what it might take to get us closer to AGI.

Flip through Walid's slides here:


Walid Saba is a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Experiential AI at Northeastern University. Prior to joining the institute in 2023, he worked at two Silicon Valley startups, focusing on conversational AI. This work included high-level roles as the principal AI scientist and CTO of Klangoo, where he helped develop its state-of-the-art digital content semantic engine (Magnet). Saba’s career to date has seen him hold various positions in both the private sector and academia. His resume includes entities such as the American Institutes for Research, AT&T Bell Labs, IBM Watson and Cognos, while he has also spent a cumulative seven years teaching computer science at the University of Ottawa, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the University of Windsor (a public research university in Ontario, Canada), and the American University of Beirut (AUB). He has published over 45 technical articles, including an award-winning paper that he presented at the German Artificial Intelligence Conference (KI-2008). Walid received his BSc and MSc in Computer Science from the University of Windsor, and a Ph.D in Computer Science from Carleton University in 1999.

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Northeastern University's Curry Student Center (room 333) and online