The Definitive Introduction to Large Language Models by Andrej Karpathy

If you want to understand the cutting-edge technology powering systems like ChatGPT, Claude, and Google’s Gemini, look no further than Andrej Karpathy’s comprehensive YouTube video on large language models (LLMs).

Karpathy, a leading AI researcher and former director of AI at Tesla, has created a tour de force explainer that breaks down LLMs in just over an hour. His general-audience introduction covers the core concepts, where the technology is headed, how it compares to modern operating systems, and the security challenges this new computing paradigm presents.

As Karpathy notes, the field of LLMs moves at a blistering pace, so this November 2023 video represents the latest current insights. It’s based on slides from a talk he gave at the AI Security Summit, which was so well-received that he decided to record an expanded video version.

What makes Karpathy’s explainer so compelling is his ability to simplify even the most complex AI concepts through memorable analogies and examples. He demystifies LLMs by showing they are essentially just two files – a parameters file containing the neural network weights, and a run file with code to execute that model.

From there, Karpathy walks through the staggering computational requirements to train these models on terabytes of internet data. He illustrates how LLMs operate by generating plausible “dreams” mimicking web text, from Java code to Wikipedia articles. Critically, he differentiates the two training stages – the initial general pretraining on broad data, versus the supervised finetuning tailored to create a customized AI assistant.

The second half covers LLM capabilities like multimodal processing of images and audio, the possibilities of an “LLM operating system” integrating various tools, and the pressing ethical concerns like data poisoning attacks that the field must grapple with.

Whether you’re a developer, student, or simply someone captivated by artificial intelligence, Karpathy’s video is a must-watch glimpse into one of the most powerful and paradoxically inscrutable technologies today. Grab your popcorn, sit back, and let this AI legend be your guide into the remarkable world of large language models.