The field of artificial intelligence has recently seen a significant revolution with the emergence of Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT). GPT is a type of deep-learning model that can automatically generate natural language with impressive accuracy. The technology has been applied to various fields, including language translation and content generation. However, despite the success of GPT, it has certain limitations and critics. One of the primary criticisms is that it is only capable of mimicking what it has learned and cannot apply any critical thinking. This means that the model can generate text that is factually incorrect but still grammatically sound. Furthermore, GPT's ability to generate biased content is another issue of concern. As such, while GPT has significant potential in various fields, it should be applied with the limitations and criticisms in mind.

Brief overview of GPT

GPT, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is an artificial intelligence language model that is capable of generating coherent and contextual language. GPT achieves this through unsupervised learning, where the model trains itself on large amounts of data without being explicitly told what to look for. The model is composed of a deep neural network that takes textual input and predicts the next word in the sequence. GPT has revolutionized natural language processing by providing state-of-the-art language generation in multiple domains, including language translation, chatbots, and automated content creation. One of the most popular versions of GPT is GPT-3, released in 2020, which has been praised for its ability to generate human-like coherent responses to given prompts. However, despite its impressive performance, GPT has faced some limitations and criticisms, including potential biases, lack of interpretability, and ethical considerations.

Importance of discussing limitations and criticisms

The discussion of limitations and criticisms is crucial for any academic discourse, as it helps to provide a comprehensive and well-rounded analysis of the topic at hand. This is especially important in the case of emerging technologies like GPT, which have far-reaching implications for society. By acknowledging the limitations and criticisms of GPT, researchers and experts can identify areas where further research and development are necessary, as well as potential ethical implications that should be addressed. Additionally, discussing limitations and criticisms fosters a culture of questioning and critical thinking, encouraging researchers to approach their subject with objectivity and nuance. This, in turn, enhances the credibility and reliability of research and findings, improving the quality of scientific discourse and contributing to the advancement of knowledge. Therefore, it is imperative that the criticisms and limitations of GPT are fully explored, not only to address current concerns, but also to pave the way for future advancements and discoveries.

Another major limitation of GPT models is their inability to fully understand context and meaning in text. While they can accurately generate coherent sentences and paragraphs, they do not have the same level of comprehension as a human reader. As a result, they can miss subtle nuances and misinterpret certain phrases or expressions. Additionally, GPT models can perpetuate harmful biases and stereotypes present in the data they are trained on, as they learn from the patterns and language used in that data. This can lead to problematic or offensive outputs, which can then perpetuate further harm. Finally, there are concerns over the carbon footprint of GPT models, as they require significant energy resources to train and run. While advancements in technology have made these models more efficient, they still have a negative impact on the environment.

Computational Limitations

Another limitation of GPT is related to computational resources, as the model requires massive amounts of computing power and time to process the data. Even with the use of high-performance computing systems, the training time for GPT can take up to several days, making it challenging to scale the model for large datasets or real-time applications. Furthermore, the storage and memory requirements for GPT are significant, and the costs associated with them can be substantial. As a result, GPT may not be accessible to many researchers or small-scale businesses with limited computational resources, which limits the development and application of the model in various domains. Therefore, the high computational complexity and resource requirements of GPT pose a significant challenge to the scalability, efficiency, and accessibility of the model, making it less viable for practical applications that require immediate or real-time responses.

Limits of the training data

Another limitation of GPT that must be addressed is the limits of the training data. GPT-3 was trained on a vast corpus of text that was made publicly available for free. However, the corpus does not necessarily reflect the full breadth of human knowledge and experience. There are various types of information that were not included in the training data, such as scientific research papers or technical manuals. This means that GPT-3 may not be able to generate accurate and coherent responses to questions in certain domains, especially those that require specialized knowledge. Additionally, the training data may contain biases or errors that were not corrected during the training process, which could be perpetuated by the model when generating text. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge these limitations and continue to expand and diversify the training data used to create language models like GPT.

Computational power required

Another criticism regarding the GPT series is the computational power required for its functioning. With massive amounts of data, the training process for these models requires intensive computational infrastructure, which not every institution or individual has access to. This poses a significant limitation for smaller organizations and individuals who are unable to afford or support the computational infrastructure required for training the models. With the limited availability of computational resources, it becomes challenging to train deeper and more complex models, which could lead to the production of less accurate results. To overcome these limitations, recent advancements in cloud-based computing have enabled individuals and enterprises to have access to computational power for training these models. However, it still requires a significant investment in infrastructure, and not everyone can afford it, making it difficult for smaller institutions or individuals to leverage these latest developments in technology.

Difficulty in incorporating new information on the fly

Another limitation of GPT is its difficulty in incorporating new information on the fly. While the model can generate coherent and relevant responses to prompts within its trained dataset, it lacks the ability to learn and adapt in real-time. This means that if a new concept or topic is introduced outside of its training data, the model may struggle to produce accurate responses. Additionally, GPT models are vulnerable to bias and may produce problematic outputs if fed biased datasets. This lack of adaptability and potential for bias has raised concerns about the role of language models in perpetuating systemic discrimination and misinformation. Further research is needed to evaluate the ethical implications of GPT's limitations and to develop more innovative and inclusive approaches to natural language processing.

Issue of accuracy and bias in the language generated by the system

Another major concern surrounding GPT language generation is the issue of accuracy and bias. As mentioned earlier, GPT is trained on large quantities of text data, which means the system's output may reflect the biases and inaccuracies present in the training data. This could result in perpetuating harmful stereotypes or propagating false information. For example, if the language generation model is trained on a corpus that includes predominantly male authors, it may generate text that reinforces gender biases. Additionally, the model may generate inaccuracies due to incorrect or outdated information present in the training data. To address this issue, researchers must ensure that the training data used is diverse and representative of different perspectives and viewpoints. Additionally, using multiple models and evaluating the generated text against human-written texts can help detect and correct inaccuracies and biases.

Another criticism of GPT is that it can perpetuate biases and inequalities in society. Artificial intelligence models often rely on vast amounts of data to learn and generate predictions or decisions, and this data can often contain societal biases and prejudices. For example, if a GPT model is trained on text from a biased source, it may learn to generate language that reinforces or amplifies those biases. Moreover, GPT models can also exacerbate existing inequalities by favoring certain demographics or perspectives over others. This can be seen in applications like hiring algorithms, which may unintentionally discriminate against certain groups based on historical hiring patterns. In order to mitigate these issues, researchers and developers must carefully consider the data used to train GPT models and ensure that they are representative and free from biases and prejudices. Additionally, ongoing testing and monitoring of these models are necessary to detect and correct any unfair or harmful outcomes.

Lack of Understanding of Common Sense

The GPT models have been praised for their ability to generate human-like language and performing various tasks. However, these models are not without limitations and criticisms. One of the limitations of the GPT models is their lack of understanding of common sense. Despite the impressive capability of generating human-like responses, these models lack the fundamental abilities of commonsense reasoning that a human being possesses. The GPT models are limited to the data they are trained on and can only generate responses based on the patterns and associations in the training data. They do not have an innate understanding of the world and lack the judgment skills to determine what is reasonable or not. The inability of GPT models to understand common sense has implications for their reliability and accuracy in certain contexts, such as medical diagnosis or legal decision-making, where commonsense reasoning is crucial.

Lack of real-life experience

Another major criticism of GPT models is that they lack real-life experience. Even though these models can generate impressive and sometimes even coherent responses, they often lack human-like nuance and understanding. For example, GPT-3 may be able to answer questions about literary devices, but it may not fully understand the cultural or emotional significance behind a piece of literature. Additionally, these models may not understand the context in which words and phrases are used. For instance, in a study conducted by OpenAI, GPT-3 was found to generate racist comments when provided with prompts that contained racist language. This highlights the fact that these models lack a human-like understanding of the world around them, making it difficult to trust them completely for tasks such as content moderation or customer service. With this in mind, it is important to consider the limitations of GPT models and not rely solely on them for decision-making.

Inability to understand nuances and context

Another limitation of GPT is its inherent inability to grasp nuanced meanings and contextual information. While it can generate coherent and compelling content, it struggles to comprehend the intricacies of human language and meaning. This drawback is particularly pronounced in instances where the text is highly specialized or culturally specific. For instance, GPT may struggle when dealing with regional dialects or linguistic flourishes that are prevalent in certain communities. Additionally, GPT may misinterpret sarcasm, irony or satire, which could lead to inappropriate responses or erroneous judgments. Furthermore, GPT does not understand the emotional tone of the input text, which means it cannot empathize with the writer or appropriately respond to their emotional state. As a result, GPT output may appear mechanical or insensitive when dealing with sensitive or emotional topics, despite its impeccable grammar and structure. These limitations illustrate the need for caution in using GPT as a standalone tool and highlights the importance of human oversight in generating high-quality content.

Bias in the training data

Another significant issue with GPT models is the presence of bias in the training data. As the training data for GPT models is sourced from the real world, it is prone to biases that exist within society and can be amplified by the algorithm. One example of such a bias is the replicating of gender and racial stereotypes. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found that GPT-2 demonstrated significant biases towards race, gender, and religion. For instance, the model associated the word "man" with careers such as "businessman" and "programmer," while the word "woman" was more often associated with "homemaker" and "receptionist." These biases can have significant ramifications when used in applications like hiring processes or risk assessments. Ensuring that the training data is adequately scrutinized for bias and applying ethical standards to the model development process is critical for mitigating these issues.

One of the main limitations of GPT is its inability to truly understand context and meaning in language. While GPT can generate coherent and grammatically correct sentences, its understanding of the semantics and nuances of words and phrases is limited. This can lead to inaccuracies and errors in its language processing, especially when dealing with complex or abstract concepts. Additionally, GPT's training data is largely comprised of text from the internet, which may contain biases and inaccuracies that can be perpetuated through language generation. Furthermore, GPT's reliance on statistical patterns can lead to reproducing societal biases and stereotypes. This has raised ethical concerns regarding the use of GPT in various applications, as it may perpetuate and reinforce systemic biases in language and decision-making processes. Overall, while GPT has significant potential for language generation, its limitations and criticisms must be considered for responsible and ethical use.

Ethical Concerns

Another significant issue that needs to be addressed when considering GPT is ethical concerns. The use of these language models has the potential to perpetuate harmful biases and stereotypes present in our society. It is crucial to remember that GPT relies heavily on the training data to generate predictions. Therefore, if the training data is biased or inaccurate, it becomes difficult to eliminate such biased outputs from the generated text. The possibility of misusing GPT for malicious purposes such as spreading misinformation, creating deep fakes, and impersonating individuals is also concerning. The lack of transparency regarding the functioning of these models and the criteria for selecting the training data is also a problem. As GPT continues to evolve and improve, it is critical to ensure that ethical considerations are an integral part of its development and deployment. Proper guidelines and regulations need to be in place to safeguard against harmful usage of GPT.

GPT can be used for malicious purposes

One of the most significant criticisms of GPT lies in its potential for misuse. Due to its ability to generate coherent and convincing text, GPT algorithms can be used to create fake news, manipulate online reviews, and even impersonate individuals online. As GPT continues to evolve, the potential for more sophisticated and convincing deceptions will increase. Additionally, the vast amount of data that GPT algorithms rely on can also be a source of vulnerability. Hackers could potentially manipulate or corrupt the data used to train GPT algorithms, leading to biased or harmful outputs. Furthermore, concerns have been raised about the potential for GPT algorithms to reinforce existing prejudices and stereotypes present in the training data. As such, it is essential to continue scrutinizing these models and addressing the potential risks associated with their use to ensure that they are not used for malicious purposes.

Possibility of GPT being misused by humans

The possibility of GPT being misused by humans is a significant concern that has gained increasing attention as the technology continues to advance. Given the immense power and flexibility of the system to generate human-like language from input text, there is a risk that it could be used for malicious purposes, such as generating fake news, propaganda or deepfake videos. Moreover, there are concerns related to GPT's ability to amplify social biases and prejudices that may be present in the input data. For instance, if the training data contains discriminatory language or patterns, GPT may end up reproducing these biases in its output. Therefore, experts argue that it is essential to monitor and regulate the use of GPT carefully to prevent its potential misuse. The responsibility lies with the developers, users, and policymakers to ensure that GPT is used ethically and responsibly to avoid any adverse consequences for society.

Lack of transparency in decision-making process

Another significant limitation of GPT is the lack of transparency in the decision-making process. As GPT is a complex machine learning algorithm that operates on a large amount of data, it is often difficult to trace the steps that led to a particular output. This lack of transparency can be problematic in numerous instances, including such areas as legal and judicial decision-making, financial decision-making, and healthcare. Not knowing how a particular outcome was arrived at can lead to concerns regarding accountability and fairness. Additionally, individuals may not know how their personal data is being used, further exacerbating concerns around privacy. Although efforts are being made to increase transparency through techniques such as analyzing GPT's decision-making processes and generating explanations for its outputs, there is still much work to be done in this area.

Moreover, another limitation and criticism of GPT are related to the biased outputs and lack of transparency within the system. It is reported that GPT models contain gender, racial, and other biases, which reflect the patterns and trends present in the training data. For instance, the model may generate negative and discriminatory outputs towards certain races or gender groups due to the lack of inclusion and diversity in the data used to train the model. Additionally, GPT's black box nature is another issue of concern for some experts, as it limits the ability to understand the system's decision-making process, which can potentially lead to the reinforcement of biased and harmful outputs. Therefore, individuals must approach GPT-generated information with caution and carefully interrogate the output to avoid reinforcing misinformation and perpetuating biased narratives.

Security Risks

Another major limitation of GPT is the security risk it poses. With the ability to generate vast amounts of content with minimal supervision, GPT models can be manipulated to propagate false information and disinformation. Malicious actors can use GPT models to generate fake news, spread propaganda, and even impersonate individuals online. This type of manipulation not only damages the reputation and credibility of individuals and institutions but can also have real-world consequences. For instance, during the 2016 US presidential election, misinformation spread through social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, potentially influencing voters' decisions. As GPT continues to improve, it is essential to address these security risks and develop safeguards to ensure the technology is not exploited or weaponized for harmful purposes.

Danger of hackers manipulating GPT

Another significant limitation of GPT is the danger of hackers manipulating its output to spread propaganda or disinformation. As GPT can generate human-like responses to prompts, hackers can leverage this feature to generate persuasive texts to deceive people. In fact, researchers have demonstrated that the tool's output can be manipulated by feeding it with biased data and prompting it with specific themes. For instance, a hacker with political motives could influence the narrative around an election by generating fake news or spreading propaganda on social media. Additionally, given that GPT can generate output at a massive scale, it could be challenging to detect and control the spread of manipulated content. This limitation emphasizes the need for additional measures to ensure the integrity of generated content and raises the question of whether GPT's benefits outweigh its risks.

Misuse of personal data can lead to identity theft

Additionally, the misuse of personal data can lead to identity theft. As GPT systems rely on massive amounts of personal data to function, the risk of data breaches and hacking attacks increases. Once a malicious actor gains access to this data, they can easily use it to steal identities and commit crimes such as fraud and financial abuse. Moreover, as is often the case in today's society, the vast majority of individuals are unaware of how their personal data is being used or stored. With this blind trust in place, it's not unlikely for personal data to end up in the wrong hands or be used in ways that are harmful to individuals and society as a whole. As such, any criticism or limitation of GPT must seriously consider the potential negative impacts on privacy and data security.

One major limitation of GPT is that it relies heavily on existing data and language patterns. While GPT has achieved impressive results through its ability to generate coherent and grammatically correct responses, it does not possess a true understanding of language. GPT merely associates words and phrases with each other based on statistical patterns in the dataset it was trained on. Therefore, given text that uses uncommon or ambiguous language or uses context-specific terminology, GPT may produce inaccurate or nonsensical responses. GPT has also been criticized for its lack of knowledge about real-world events and inability to reason or think critically. While GPT's language generation capabilities have undoubtedly revolutionized the field of natural language processing, its limitations highlight the need for continued research and development of more advanced language models.

Environmental Impact

Environmental impact is another area in which GPT has been criticized. As GPT becomes increasingly widespread and sophisticated, the potential for negative effects on the environment also increases. There are concerns about the environmental impact of the energy consumption required to power GPT, particularly in light of the fact that many GPT systems operate 24 hours a day. Additionally, there may be negative environmental impacts associated with the production and disposal of GPT hardware, as well as with the significant amounts of data that GPT systems require to be effective. Finally, there are concerns about the potential use of GPT by polluters to evade environmental regulations or hide the impacts of their activities. These environmental concerns must be taken seriously, and efforts must be made to ensure that the development and implementation of GPT technologies are conducted in a way that minimizes their negative impacts on the environment and protects the health and well-being of communities.

Energy requirements to train the model

Another significant limitation of GPT is its high energy requirements to train the model. The training process of a large language model, like GPT-3, involves immense amounts of data and computing resources due to its complex neural network architecture. OpenAI researchers have estimated that training GPT-3 had a carbon footprint equivalent to the lifetime emissions of a car. Moreover, the energy consumption by training models has been rising steadily over the years, which is a severe concern for environmental sustainability. Additionally, training a large language model requires large amounts of computational resources, which limits access to the technology only to a few large technology companies. Overall, the energy consumption and computational requirements of training models like GPT-3 come at a significant environmental cost and limits the accessibility of such technologies to only a few, creating a digital divide.

Carbon footprint of running GPT

One of the major criticisms of GPT is its carbon footprint. The energy consumption of running GPT models is significant, and the vast amounts of data required to train these models also contribute to carbon emissions. According to a study by OpenAI, training the GPT-3 model alone emitted an estimated 284 tons of CO2. Additionally, GPT requires a high-performance computing infrastructure, which further increases energy consumption. This is a significant concern as the world is grappling with the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change. Therefore, there is a need to focus on developing more sustainable approaches to AI, such as exploring ways to reduce energy consumption and adopting renewable energy sources. However, while addressing the carbon footprint of GPT is critical, it does not negate the significant role that GPT plays in driving progress in AI research and its potential to address complex challenges in various industries.

Another limitation of GPT is its inability to generate content that is emotionally engaging or demonstrate empathy. Machines, no matter how advanced, lack the ability to understand and interpret human emotions accurately. GPT may excel in generating human-like text, but it is often devoid of any emotional context. Emotions are an essential aspect of human communication, and the inability of machines to understand them limits their capacity to generate user-friendly content. Another criticism levelled at GPT is its lack of creativity. Although it can generate unique content, its output often lacks originality and creativity. Essentially, this means that it cannot replace the input of human creativity and inventiveness when it comes to generating content. Considering these limitations, GPT may still have immense value, but it is more suited as a tool to assist human writers rather than replace them.


In conclusion, while GPT has made remarkable strides in natural language processing and artificial intelligence applications, it is not without its limitations and criticisms. As discussed, the model has been found to exhibit bias and generate inaccurate results due to its reliance on statistical patterns and lack of a real understanding of context. Additionally, the sheer size and computational power required for GPT to function effectively is a significant barrier for many individuals/organizations looking to leverage the technology. Despite these challenges, GPT has still proven to be a valuable tool in many contexts, such as facilitating research and enhancing communication between humans and machines. Going forward, it will be crucial to address the limitations and criticisms of GPT and continue to develop and refine the technology to ensure that it can be leveraged safely and effectively for an even broader range of applications.

The importance of considering limitations and criticisms of GPT

In conclusion, it is imperative to take into account the limitations and criticisms of GPT in order to avoid blind spots and ensure critical thinking in AI development. While GPT models have the potential to revolutionize the field of natural language processing, they are not immune to biases, ethical concerns, and technical issues that can lead to flawed outcomes. Researchers and developers need to be aware of the limitations of GPT models, especially their dependence on training data and their inability to account for societal and cultural factors that shape language. Moreover, criticisms of GPT models have raised fundamental questions about the role of AI in society and its impact on jobs, privacy, and human morality. Therefore, a responsible approach to AI development requires a nuanced understanding of the limitations and criticisms of GPT, as well as a willingness to engage in open and critical debates about the future of AI.

Suggestions for improvements in the future

In order to improve the accuracy and performance of GPT, several suggestions can be taken into consideration in the future. One of the major criticisms of GPT is its lack of understanding of context, which can lead to certain statements being misinterpreted or misunderstood. Therefore, to improve its language understanding capabilities, GPT can be trained with more diverse and relevant data sets, including domain-specific texts, scientific articles, and technical reports, to develop a deeper understanding of various terminologies and language patterns. Secondly, GPT can benefit from incorporating machine learning techniques, such as active learning and unsupervised learning, to learn from its mistakes and continually improve its performance. Additionally, transparent and explainable AI models can be developed to help users understand how certain decisions are made by the system, which can provide a sense of trust and reliability. Finally, GPT can incorporate ethical and social considerations in its development to ensure that its language models are not biased or discriminatory and align with ethical standards.

Kind regards
J.O. Schneppat