Artificial Neuropsychology: Are Large Language Models Developing Executive Functions?

Hernan Ceferino Vazquez
Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence (cs.AI), Neural and Evolutionary Computing (cs.NE)
2023-05-05 16:00:00
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been rapidly advancing and has demonstrated its ability to perform a wide range of cognitive tasks, including language processing, visual recognition, and decision-making. Part of this progress is due to LLMs (Large Language Models) like those of the GPT (Generative Pre-Trained Transformers) family. These models are capable of exhibiting behavior that can be perceived as intelligent. Most authors in Neuropsychology consider intelligent behavior to depend on a number of overarching skills, or Executive Functions (EFs), which rely on the correct functioning of neural networks in the frontal lobes, and have developed a series of tests to evaluate them. In this work, we raise the question of whether LLMs are developing executive functions similar to those of humans as part of their learning, and we evaluate the planning function and working memory of GPT using the popular Towers of Hanoi method. Additionally, we introduce a new variant of the classical method in order to avoid that the solutions are found in the LLM training data (dataleakeage). Preliminary results show that LLMs generates near-optimal solutions in Towers of Hanoi related tasks, adheres to task constraints, and exhibits rapid planning capabilities and efficient working memory usage, indicating a potential development of executive functions. However, these abilities are quite limited and worse than well-trained humans when the tasks are not known and are not part of the training data.
PDF: Artificial Neuropsychology: Are Large Language Models Developing Executive Functions?.pdf
Empowered by ChatGPT