Does AI really hallucinate?

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Technology | 0 comments

In simple terms, an AI hallucination is when an AI system generates or interprets information that isn’t accurate or doesn’t align with reality. This phenomenon occurs not because AI has a mind of its own, but because of the way it’s been programmed and trained.

The Training Process

AI, particularly the kind known as machine learning, learns from vast amounts of data. It looks for patterns and uses these patterns to make predictions or decisions. For example, an AI trained on thousands of pictures of cats can learn to identify a cat in a new photo.

Where Hallucinations Come In

Problems arise when AI encounters data that’s either out of its training scope or is ambiguous. It might “see” patterns that aren’t there, similar to how a human might see shapes in clouds. This is what’s termed as hallucination in AI.

Why Does AI Hallucinate?

  1. Limited or Biased Data: If the AI is trained on limited or skewed data, it might not have a complete understanding. For instance, an AI trained only on images of white cats might struggle to recognize a black cat.
  2. Complexity of Real World: The real world is full of nuances and exceptions. An AI system might find it challenging to cope with every possible scenario, leading to errors in judgement or hallucinations.
  3. Misinterpretation of Data: Sometimes, the way data is presented to AI can lead to misunderstandings. If the data is unclear, the AI might fill in the gaps with inaccurate information.

Is AI Hallucination a Big Deal?

Yes and no. For some applications, like recommending a movie or a song, an AI hallucination might not be a big deal. But in critical applications like medical diagnosis or autonomous vehicles, hallucinations could have serious consequences.

Examples of AI Hallucinations

So how do we deal with AI Hallucination?

Simply put, we can’t trust AI, if you are using it to create content for your website, or answer questions in a funding bid you need to check and double check what the AI is telling you, because sometimes it is very confidently wrong.

Written by Andy
Andy has been a Web Designer by day and a maker by night for over 25 years, working with 1000’s of individuals and businesses large and small to make the most out of the internet and technology in general.
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