Professor Yann LeCun, a basic denier of the threat of AI, vocal tweeter and chief scientist at Meta , made the following comments in an interview with Lex Fridman as recently as last year,
“I don’t think we can train a machine to be intelligent purely from text, because I think the amount of information about the world that is contained in text is tiny compared to what we need to know. So for example, lets, uh – and yeah, you know, people have attempted to do this for 30 years, right, the Sight Project and things like that, basically writing down all the facts that are known and hoping that some, some sort of common sense will emerge. I think that it’s basically hopeless.
So let me take an example. You take an object – I describe a situation to you – I take an object, I put it on the table, and I push the table. It’s completely obvious to you that the object will be pushed with the table, right, because it is sitting on it. There is no text in the world I believe that explains this, so if you train a machine as powerful as it could be – you know, your GPT-5000, or whatever it is, it’s never going to learn about this. This information is just not in any text.”
Relevant part is around 57:40.
Being wrong is fine. Being wrong while declaring that you are the lone voice of truth is rank hubris.
I put an object on the table and I push the table. What happens to the object?
When you push the table, the object on the table will also move with the table, assuming the friction between the object and the table is high enough. This is due to Newton’s First Law of Motion, also known as the Law of Inertia. According to this law, an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced external force.
The friction between the object and the table surface is the force that causes the object to move along with the table. If the push is gentle, the friction is usually enough to keep the object in place relative to the table.
However, if the push is sudden or strong enough, the friction might not be sufficient to keep the object stationary relative to the table, and the object might slide or even topple over, depending on the object’s stability and the strength of the push. This can be thought of as the object’s inertia resisting the change in motion.
Note also that if the object is not stable (like a tall vase), even a gentle push can cause it to topple due to the motion of the table.