The hand of GOD GPT

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A VentureBeat story by Michael Kerner, "Cohere expands enterprise LLM efforts with LivePerson partnership" (4/11/2023), leads with this image:

…memetically referencing a widely-reproduced detail from Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco Creazione di Adamo:

Is this taking current AI hype a blasphemous step too far, portraying's latest Large Language Model as the creator? Or is it a bit of apophatic AI-ology, with the gap between the fingers representing the unattainability of divine perfection general artificial intelligence?

The cited article's message is substantially more pedestrian than either of these speculations. It starts like this:

No longer flying under the radar, Cohere AI is ramping up its large language model (LLM) enterprise efforts.

Cohere announced today a new effort to help bring its LLM technology to conversational AI leader LivePerson in an innovative approach that aims to help reduce bias, improve explainability and limit the risk of AI hallucinations. The effort could have a profound impact on the way that LLMs are able to safely and responsibly be deployed in enterprise environments.

You can read the rest for yourself. I'll just note for now that there are some other hand-to-hand connections in the Sistine Chapel frescos that might be more relevant, though less recognizable. For instance, this one [click on the image to see the whole thing…]:


  1. Tobias said,

    April 16, 2023 @ 3:29 pm

    Maybe it’s a play on AI’s difficulty to get hands correct — the computer hand only has three fingers and a thumb.

  2. Viseguy said,

    April 16, 2023 @ 6:07 pm

    The article's "explainability" stopped me in my tracks. Does it refer to AI's ability to explain things, or AI's amenability to being explained — or maybe AI's ability to explain itself?

    PS: If only Adam & Eve hadn't eaten that apple, we'd all be ripped without ever having had to set foot in a gym. Damn that serpent!

  3. Brett said,

    April 16, 2023 @ 8:46 pm

    Having the hand reach out of a screen seems quite clever, since in Michelangelo's painting, God is analogously reaching to touch Adam's hand from within a brain—complete with cerebellum, lateral sulcus, and medulla oblongata. (Thus God is not giving Adam life, since Adam is already alive, with his eyes open. No, God is giving Adam thought.)

  4. Victor Mair said,

    April 19, 2023 @ 2:02 pm

    The Wall Street Journal

    "Is That a Secret Michelangelo Selfie at the Sistine Chapel?"

    A new theory posits that Michelangelo painted his own likeness into the figure of God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

    By Kelly Crow
    April 19, 2023 9:10 am ET

    VHM: Very interesting. Worth a read!

  5. KC said,

    April 20, 2023 @ 7:09 pm

    @Viseguy, explainability is a common concern in AI, it means the ability of a model builder or user to explain specifically how the model or process creates a given prediction or output. Explainability is hard in deep learning. A model as huge and complex as ChatGPT would likely have almost no explainability beyond "that's what it learned from the training corpus," which basically explains nothing.

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