Ben Auffarth, PhD
Author: Generative AI with LangChain | Lead Data Scientist at Hastings Direct
Ben Auffarth is a seasoned data science leader with a background and Ph.D. in computational neuroscience. Ben has analyzed terabytes of data, simulated brain activity on supercomputers with up to 64k cores, designed and conducted wet lab experiments, built production systems processing underwriting applications, and trained neural networks on millions of documents. He’s highly regarded in the London data science community and the best-selling author of the books Generative AI with LangChain, Machine Learning for Time Series, and Artificial Intelligence with Python Cookbook.
All Sessions by Ben Auffarth, PhD
Moving Beyond Statistical Parrots - Large Language Models and their ToolingIntermediate
Large language models like GPT-4 and Codex have demonstrated immense capabilities in generating fluent text. However, simply scaling up data and compute results in statistical parroting without true intelligence. This talk explores frameworks and techniques to move beyond statistical mimicry. We discuss leveraging tools to retrieve knowledge, prompt engineering to steer models, monitoring systems to detect biases, and cloud offerings to deploy conversational agents. This talk explores the emerging ecosystem of frameworks, services, and tooling that propel large language models and enable developers to build impactful applications powered by large language models. Complex mechanisms like function calling and Retrieval Augmented Generation, navigating towards meaningful outputs and applications requires an overarching focus on strong model governance frameworks that can ensure that biases and harmful ideologies embedded in the training data are duly mitigated, paving the way towards beneficial application development. Developers play a crucial role in this process and should be empowered with tools and knowledge to steer these models appropriately. Intentional use of these elements not only optimizes model governance but also enriches the experience for developers, allowing them to dig deeper and create substantial applications that are not mere parroting, but stockholders of genuine value. From deploying conversational agents to crafting impactful applications across a swath of industries, such as healthcare and education, the comprehensive understanding and utilization of the vast array of LLM mechanisms can truly push the boundaries of NLP and AI, helping to usher in the age of AI in everyday life.