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Yoav Shoham | Understanding Understanding

Event Details

Wednesday, May 10, 2023
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. PDT

Event Type




Madeleine Wright
HAI Weekly Seminar

Understanding Understanding

The question of whether machines can really understand is as old as computing. Lovelace and Searle thought not. Turing thought yes. (Ok that’s not totally accurate, but let’s not ruin a good story.) With the advent of LLMs the question has resurfaced in force, again with some strong skeptics such as Bender et al. I’ll share my views, based mostly on our work at AI21 Labs. Spoilers: (1) I’m with Turing, I think yes. (2) LLMs, as currently built, are necessary but not sufficient. (3) The question is more interesting than the answer.

In-person registration is open to the Stanford community. If you are not a Stanford affiliate and you would like to request an in-person seat, please contact the HAI Events Team at

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Yoav Shoham

Yoav Shoham

Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Stanford University

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