Keynote by Rao

LLMs Can’t Plan, But Can Help Planning in LLM-Modulo Frameworks

Keynote by Subbarao Kambhampati

Subbarao “Rao” Kambhampati, professor of computer science at Arizona State University, will give a keynote lecture at the 4th TAILOR conference “Trustworthy AI from Lab to market”, 4-5 June 2024, Lisbon. His talk will be about the role of LLM:s in planning tasks.


Large Language Models (LLMs) are on track to reverse what seemed like an inexorable shift of AI from explicit to tacit knowledge tasks. Trained as they are on everything ever written on the web, LLMs exhibit “approximate omniscience”–they can provide answers to all sorts of queries, but with nary a guarantee. This could herald a new era for knowledge-based AI systems–with LLMs taking the role of (blowhard?) experts. But first, we have to stop confusing the impressive form of the generated knowledge for correct content, and resist the temptation to ascribe reasoning, planning, self-critiquing etc. powers to approximate retrieval by these n-gram models on steroids. We have to focus instead on LLM-Modulo techniques that complement the unfettered idea generation of LLMs with careful vetting by model-based AI systems. In this talk, I will reify this vision and attendant caveats in the context of the role of LLMs in planning tasks.


Subbarao Kambhampati is a professor of computer science at Arizona State University. Kambhampati studies fundamental problems in planning and decision making, motivated in particular by the challenges of human-aware AI systems. He is a fellow of Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, American Association for the Advancement of Science,  and Association for Computing machinery, and was an NSF Young Investigator. He served as the president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, a trustee of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence,  the chair of AAAS Section T (Information, Communication and Computation), and a founding board member of Partnership on AI. Kambhampati’s research as well as his views on the progress and societal impacts of AI have been featured in multiple national and international media outlets. He can be followed on Twitter @rao2z.