[ExI] Language models are like mirrors

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sun Apr 2 11:21:39 UTC 2023

On Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 3:48 AM Gordon Swobe via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 1, 2023 at 4:19 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On 01/04/2023 21:08, Gordon Swobe wrote:
>> On Sat, Apr 1, 2023 at 7:36 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> On 01/04/2023 13:43, Gordon Swobe wrote:
>>> Unlike these virtual LLMs, we have access also to the referents in the
>>> world that give the words in language meaning.
>>> I don't understand why this argument keeps recurring, despite having
>>> been demolished more than once.
>> I has not been demolished in my opinion and incidentally, as I’ve
>> mentioned, my view is shared by the faculty director of the masters program
>> in computational linguistics at the University of Washington. This is what
>> she and her fellow professors teach. Many others understand things the same
>> way. Brent points out that the majority of those who participate in his
>> canonizer share similar views, including many experts in the field.
>> Ah, your opinion. You know what they say, "You're entitled to your own
>> opinions..."
>> And you're using 'argument from authority' again.
> Merely refuting your claim that my argument is “demolished.” Far from
> demolished, it is quite widely accepted among other views.

An idea held broadly or even by a majority of experts is no guarantee
against the belief being demolished.

All it takes is one is one false premise, one logical inconsistency, or one
new observation to completely destroy a theory. These can sometimes go
unnoticed for decades or even centuries.

Examples: Frege's set theory shown invalid by one inconsistcy pointed out
by Bertrand Russell. Newton's theory of gravitation was shown invalid by
observations of Mercury's orbit. Niels Bohr wave function collapse was
shown to be an artifact of observation rather than a real physical
phenomenon by Hugh Everett's PhD thesis.

In this case, the argument that nothing can have "meaning" or "understand
referents" if it only receives information is demolished by the single
counter example of the human brain as it too receives only information (in
the form of nerve impulses), and we agree humans have meaning and

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