Raphaël Millière

Public Engagement


  • The AI Alignment Problem

    A podcast interview on the alignment problem for language models.
  • What can AI teach us about human cognition and creativity?

    A podcast interview about AI and creativity.
  • The Turing Tests of today are mistaken

    An essay on ongoing challenges with the behavioral evaluation of AI systems.
  • 2023

  • Why it’s important to remember that AI isn’t human

    An op-ed co-authored with Charles Rathkopf in Vox Future Perfect. We ask why people – experts included – are so polarized about the kinds of psychological capacities they ascribe to language models like ChatGPT, and how we can move beyond simple dichotomies in this debate.
  • The Vector Grounding Problem and Self-Consciousness

    A long-form conversation on various topics related to my research, including the nature of self-consciousness, and the 'vector grounding problem' for laguage models.
  • Large Language Models

    "How do large language models work? What are the dangers of overclaiming and underclaiming the capabilities of large language models? What are some of the most important cognitive capacities to understand for large language models? Are large language models showing sparks of artificial general intelligence? Do language models really understand language?"
  • AI and Art

    "Machine minds can work a paintbrush, but are they really making art? In episode 80 of Overthink, Ellie and David talk with guest Raphaël Millière, scholar and philosophy lecturer at Columbia University, on the aesthetic merits of computer-generated art. They discuss the thorny marriage of art and technology in everything from the early days of photography to YACHT’s AI-assisted pop songs. Why do we expect art to express human emotions? Is prompt-engineering for AI models an art in itself? And, if ‘great artists steal,’ is DALL·E the greatest artist of us all?"
  • Looking Under the Hood of AI

    "ChatGPT is great — but does it ‘understand’ what it is telling us? Raphaël Millière joins Vasant Dhar in episode 60 of Brave New World to understand on what’s going on inside ChatGPT — and the larger questions that arise from this."
  • How Artificial Intelligence Thinks

    "As AI becomes increasingly prevalent in our daily lives, it is important to understand the mechanisms behind its decision-making processes. What are the algorithms and models that underpin AI, and how do they differ from human thought processes? How do machines learn from data, and what are the limitations of this learning? These are just some of the questions we will be exploring in this episode. Raphaël will be sharing insights from his work in cognitive science, and discussing the latest developments in this rapidly evolving field. So join us as we dive into the mind of artificial intelligence and explore how it thinks."
  • Linguistics, Theory of Mind, Grounding

    A long-form conversation about various issues related to artificial intelligence and language models, including semantic competence, language understanding, compression, compositional generalization, systematicity, the Language of Thought hypothesis, conceptual combinations, the grounding problem, world models, and theory of mind.
  • Compositional Generalization, Referential Grounding & Language Models

    A discussion with Ellie Pavlick (Brown University) about compositional generalization, referential grounding, and large language models.
  • The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Human Relationships

    An interview on CNN Chile, on the occasion of Congreso Futuro 2023.
  • How to Talk to (And About) Artificial Intelligence

    "Chatbots are artificial intelligence algorithms designed to converse with humans. They have gotten so compelling in recent years that it is easy to misunderstand how they work and attribute human-like psychological traits to them. This trend is particularly problematic with social chatbots designed to become virtual companions. This technology is not necessarily harmless; but we can mitigate potential risks by communicating about how chatbots work, and ensuring that they are marketed and used responsibly."
  • 2022

  • Artificial Mimicry and Beyond

    A general audience talk on the recent progress of large models in AI and how they perform a form of artificial mimicry that has potentially concerning ethical implications.
  • AI Art Is Challenging the Boundaries of Curation

    An article about AI art, and the ways in which it expands the notion of artistic curation.
  • Video Interview About Artificial Intelligence

    An interview about my Nautilus article regarding the capacities, limitations, and potential risks of large pre-trained AI models.
  • Moving Beyond Mimicry in Artificial Intelligence

    An article about the capacities, limitations, and potential risks of large pre-trained AI models.
  • Interview About the Future of AI

    A long-form conversation on the progress and future of artificial intelligence, spanning topics such as the definition of AI, the nature of intelligence, natural language understanding, out-of-distribution generalization, the benefits and limitations of scaling AI models, existential risk, and compositionality.
  • The Philosophy and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

    "What exactly is artificial intelligence? Will there ever come a time when artificial intelligence will become as competent as a human being? Our tenth episode features Dr. Raphaël Millière, who is the Robert A. Burt Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience at Columbia University. In this episode, Saurish and Dr. Millière explore the philosophical questions that surround artificial intelligence, as well as ethical considerations."
  • Computation in the Brain and Neurophilosophy

    A discussion with computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou.
  • Drugs, Behavior, and the Future of Medicine

    A discussion with Diana Martinez, Carl Hart, and Christopher Medina-Kirchner.
  • Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

    A discussion with computer scientist Rebecca Wright.
  • 2020

  • Welcome to the Next Level of Bullshit

    An article about the recent progress of language generation algorithms in relation to the concept of “bullshit” as characterized by Harry Frankfurt.
  • Interview About GPT-3 and Artificial Intelligence

    A discussion about the natural language processing algorithm GPT-3, and its potential benefits and risks to society.
  • 2019

  • Moving Humans

    A public experiment on the relationship between taste and motion perception, organized with Barry C. Smith and Ophelia Deroy.
  • The New Science of Psychedelics

    A discussion with neuroscientist Christopher Timmermann, moderated by journalist Kate Spicer.
  • Philosophy and the Senses

    A public experiment on abstract associations between scents and colors.
  • The Scents of Rothko

    A public experiment on visual-olfactory associations between scents and paintings by Mark Rothko, organized for the special event Dreaming in Color.
  • 2017

  • Interview About Consciousness in Drug-Induced States

    A two-part discussion about recent research on alterations of consciousness induced by psychoactive drugs, and its implications for a scientific understanding of consciousness.