Dual Use Technology and GPT-3

Yesterday, AI researchers published a new paper entitled Language Models are Few-Shot Learners. This paper introduces GPT-3 (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3), the follow-up to last year’s GPT-2, which at the time it was released was the largest language model out there. GPT-2 was particularly impactful because of a cycle of media hype and consternation …

Random Reflections: Cochrane and the Origins of Hierarchies

In 1972, Archie Cochrane published Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services. In a little under 86 pages, Cochrane offers a wide-ranged but succinct delivery of his experience and his philosophy of evidence in clinical practice. It’s a fascinating gallop through the concerns of one of the most influential figures …

Crisis Thresholds: network demarcation and the Kuhnian turning point

In at least some of his work (e.g. 1962), Kuhn refers to a ‘crisis’ within the scientific community, which occurs when the build-up of anomalies becomes so substantial that most of the community begin to search for an alternative to the dominant paradigm. The crisis precipitates a period of revolutionary …

A Ghost of Progress – How Hierarchies Become Fixtures

I have written extensively on hierarchies of evidence in evidence-based medicine. The origin story of hierarchies of evidence is a little contentious. Several sources in EBM cite Campbell and Stanley’s 1963 classic “Experimental and Quasi-experimental Designs for Research” as containing the first hierarchy, or at least the germ of the …

The Dismal Disease: Temozolomide and the Interaction of Evidence

“I think the challenge is really that we still, not only in glioblastoma, but in oncology at large, treat the majority of patients with a one-size-fits-all approach.” — Roger Stupp    Blockbuster drugs are rare. To be a blockbuster, a drug must shift over $1bn worth in one year. There …