Peering Into The Black Box Of Large Language Models

Large Language Models (LLMs) can produce extremely human-like communication, but their inner workings are something of a mystery. Not a mystery in the sense that we don’t know how an LLM works, but a mystery in the sense that the exact process of turning a particular input into a particular output is something of a black box.

This “black box” trait is common to neural networks in general, and LLMs are very deep neural networks. It is not really possible to explain precisely why a specific input produces a particular output, and not something else.

Why? Because neural networks are neither databases, nor lookup tables. In a neural network, discrete activation of neurons cannot be meaningfully mapped to specific concepts or words. The connections are complex, numerous, and multidimensional to the point that trying to tease out their relationships in any straightforward way simply does not make sense.

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