[ExI] GPT-4 on its inability to solve the symbol grounding problem

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Fri Apr 7 19:16:45 UTC 2023

On Fri, Apr 7, 2023, 2:53 PM Gordon Swobe <gordon.swobe at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 7, 2023 at 12:09 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 6, 2023 at 11:45 PM Gordon Swobe <gordon.swobe at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> I think you are begging the question, asking me to assume your
>>> conclusion. I have no idea if brains derive understanding from the mere
>>> statistical correlations of their inputs.
>> Hi Gordon, thank you for responding to that question.
>> Let's break it apart to see where there is either disagreement or
>> confusion:
>> 1. We agree that human brains have understanding, correct?
>> 2. We agree that the only information a human brain receives from or
>> about the outside world enters it as nerve impulses from the senses,
>> correct?
> I hope you understand that you opened up a giant can of worms, especially
> with the second question. If you expect simple yes/no answers to simple
> questions then I might disappoint you.
> 1. I agree that conscious human brains, aka minds, have understanding.
> That question is fairly straightforward.


> 2. This question is more problematic, and depends to some extent on what
> we mean by "outside world." We already had a miscommunication about that
> question with respect to referents. I am not a strict empiricist, which is
> to say that I do not believe that all knowledge is derived from the senses
> where senses is taken to mean sight, hearing, etc.

I agree not all knowledge comes from the senses, but I would say all
information a brain receives from the outside world comes into it via nerve

You've already seen me write about how I believe along with mathematical
> platonists that we discover mathematical truths and do not invent them. The
> square root of 9 is 3 and this was and is eternally true. It was true
> before anyone had a conscious mind to contemplate and learn it.

I agree. I also side with the platonists.

Does it exist in the "outside world"? Is the platonic realm in the outside
> world?

I believe the platonic realm contains and explains us. I write about the
reasons for this here: https://alwaysasking.com/why-does-anything-exist/

I also would say our knowledge of platonic objects is derived from our
brains simulating them. Just as we can start with knowledge of physical
laws and derive knowledge from seeing where they lead and what they imply,
we can start with the rules of arithmetic or the rules of Game of Life, and
learn all kinds of information by simulating those structures in our heads
or in computers. Simulation is a telescope that allows us to peer into
other universes and realities.

> Empirical science has been a great boon to humanity, but as Shakespeare
> might say, "‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are
> dreamt of in the philosophy of empiricism." :)

Could GPT or any computer access knowledge of platonic objects, through
simulation or other means? What do you really think is going on that makes
humans special?

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