The Paradox of AI Evolution: How Large Language Models May Become Dumber Over Time

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Why Upgrading from ChatGPT-4 to ChatGPT-5 May Not Be a Great Idea for OpenAI

The rapid evolution and growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT have dazzled many with their seemingly boundless capabilities. These tools have been lauded for their ability to provide answers, create content, and even mimic human conversation. However, as the saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold.” While AI’s inception was rooted in the exponential growth curve, there’s a growing belief that its progression might eventually reflect a sinusoidal pattern. This article delves into the reasoning behind this concept and the implications for future AI development.

From Exponential to Sinusoidal: Understanding the Shift

When considering the trajectory of technology, many turn to Moore’s Law, which observed that the number of transistors on a microchip doubled approximately every two years, leading to an exponential growth in computational power. Initially, AI’s development seemed to follow a similar trajectory. But technologies, like natural phenomena, often exhibit periods of rapid growth followed by stabilization or even decline.

The idea of a sinusoidal pattern suggests that after an initial period of rapid growth and expansion, there will be a decline or plateau, followed by a potential resurgence. This ebb and flow might be influenced by various factors including technological limitations, societal responses, and, as we’ll explore further, the quality of data.

Feeding on Its Own Tail: The Danger of Recursion

One of the primary catalysts for the predicted decline of AI’s intelligence is the growing trend of AI feeding on its own output. Initially, models like ChatGPT were trained on vast swaths of human-generated content from the internet. This encompassed a diverse range of opinions, facts, and information, representing collective human intelligence.

However, as AI began producing more content — articles, reports, creative pieces — the internet became saturated with AI-generated information. Newer versions of AI models, in turn, were trained not just on human content but also on content produced by their predecessors. This recursive loop means that, instead of drawing insights from organic human thought, AI is increasingly referencing its own generated content.

Consequences of the Recursive Loop

The danger in this recursive training is twofold:

Loss of Novelty and Creativity: Human thought processes are influenced by emotions, experiences, and innate creativity. AI-generated content lacks this richness. Training on repetitive AI-generated content might reduce the novelty and originality in AI outputs.
Amplification of Errors: If an AI model produces an error and this error is used as training data for future models, it perpetuates and might even amplify the mistake. Over time, the compounded errors could lead to AI models producing increasingly unreliable or nonsensical outputs.

The Decline in Usage: A Warning Sign?

There have been reports that LLMs like ChatGPT have seen a 40% decrease in usage in the months following their release. While various factors could contribute to this decline, one plausible reason is the perceived decrease in the quality or reliability of AI outputs, possibly resulting from the recursive loop problem.

The Human Touch: A Necessary Ingredient

Organic training methods, grounded in human experiences, thought processes, and emotions, play a pivotal role in AI’s development. Without fresh, human-generated content, the intelligence of AI models may stagnate or decline. The recursive loop can only be broken with a consistent infusion of diverse, high-quality, and human-produced data.


While AI has transformed the digital landscape, its sustainability requires vigilance and an understanding of its limitations. A balanced blend of human creativity and AI’s computational prowess is vital. As we stand at the cusp of the AI revolution, we must ensure that we’re not just creating echo chambers but are paving the way for brilliant and innovative systems.

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