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

Gordon Swobe gordon.swobe at gmail.com
Mon Apr 10 22:54:38 UTC 2023

On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 4:17 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

If you ask me, I think the atom of conscious is the If-then-else construct.
> The simplest binary discrimination of some statement or input that can put
> a system in more than one distinct state.

I think that computationalist view is merely a description in *your* mind
that *you* assign to the physics/biology of the brain. The brain is not
*intrinsically* a digital computer running software.

The computational model is merely a handy metaphor, one that became popular
as people became enamoured of computers starting around 1950-1960 and
increasingly so after about 1980 as the computer revolution accelerated.
You create that map in your mind but the map is not the territory.

> Yes I can infer that a mouse probably also feels pain, but now I am
>> beginning to tread outside of the first person and my thoughts start
>> turning into conjectures.
> We tread those waters when we suppose other humans are conscious. As I
> asked before, how do you know you aren't the first person with a gene
> mutations on earth that makes you conscious? Our choice is then between
> solipsism or conjecturing that other minds besides our own are conscious.

We've discussed this before and yes, it is a bit of leap to infer even that
other humans are conscious. For all I know I am the first, though I highly
doubt it. I consider it reasonable to infer consciousness in other people
and in higher mammals and to dogs and cats and so on, as we all have very
similar nervous systems and sense organs and lives and behaviors, but it
becomes increasingly speculative as we look down the food chain and at
non-mammals, to say nothing of these hunks of plastic and metal we call

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