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

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Tue Apr 11 02:58:45 UTC 2023

On Mon, Apr 10, 2023, 9:37 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Hi Jason,
> On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 5:35 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> The computer metaphor is the idea that the brain works like a computer. I
>> agree with you that the brain works nothing like a computer. The brain is
>> not a device with logic gates, or instructions, or addressable memory. It's
>> not a Turing machine.
> Wait, help me out here.  My understanding of a "Turing machine" is any
> machine that is "turing complete" (able to "replicate the operations of any
> finitely describable system")
> But a human consciousness is able to both understand and replicate the
> operations of any finitely describable system, isn't it?

A person with an abundance of patience and diligence, and given the right
equipment (like a rule book, pencil, eraser, and unlimited paper) could,
for a while, imitate the workings of a Turing machine.

This does mean that their brain is a Turing machine, or that it functions
like one. It only highlights the fact that individual steps performed by
Turing machines are generally simple enough and from a small enough
repertoire that they could be worked out by hand by a person.

> Oh wait, unless you are only talking about a specific Turing machine that
> represents things on properties that are holes in paper, and not any
> machine that represents information with other physical properties or
> qualities?

Regardless of what it uses to represent information, the brain by itself,
given it's limited working memory, isn't able to model any Turing machine's
computation for long.


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