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

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sat Apr 8 22:16:34 UTC 2023

On Sat, Apr 8, 2023, 5:18 PM Gordon Swobe <gordon.swobe at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 8, 2023 at 2:57 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Do we agree then that your doorbell system has some trivial degree of
>> awareness?
> Here's the rub: if my smart doorbell has awareness and if awareness is
> what defines consciousness, then how about my automobile?

Does it have adaptive cruise control? Then it's conscious of the lane
markers and vehicles up ahead.

It seems aware of my turning the key in the ignition and starts as if by
> magic.  Where does it end?

Where systems don't react to information in reliable, consistent, and in
counterfactual ways, then you might say there is no consciousness present.

If there is no end then you are talking about panpsychism in which
> everything in the world is aware and conscious. That's fine, but in such a
> world, what do you call that thing that a boxer loses when he is knocked
> unconscious?

In the case of the boxer, what he loses is the ability to form new memories
which will be accessible to the part(s) of his brain that can talk when he
wakes up. Not all parts of his brain will necessarily be unconscious when
he is knocked out. For example, if smelling salts can still awaken him,
then the part of his brain that can smell and trigger the waking is still
conscious and processing information from the environment.

That is what I mean by consciousness.

If you define consciousness in terms of human consciousness, then only
humans are conscious, by definition.

I'm willing to accept a much wider set of consciousness that can be found
across the animal kingdom, and also across various kinds of machines we
have built and will build. You can disagree with my definition if you find
it too loose, but I think you will have trouble accounting for behaviors
which are otherwise unexplainable without believing something in that
system has access to and awareness of some amount of information.


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