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

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Tue Apr 11 09:33:20 UTC 2023

On Tue, Apr 11, 2023, 1:30 AM Gordon Swobe <gordon.swobe at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 5:36 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> > I think this explains a lot. You have a mistaken impression of what
> computationalism is if you think computationalism is the same thing as the
> computer metaphor.
> There are many more aspects to my argument, but that is where it starts.
> The brain/mind is not fundamentally a computer or information processing
> machine.

What is it then?

> In summary, computationalism is *not* the idea that the human brain
>> operates like a computer, but rather, that a computer can be made to
>> operate *like a human brain*.
> Yes, that is the doctrine which might as well be hanging on the front door
> of ExI.

On what basis do you doubt this?

>> We know from the Church-Turing thesis that computers can replicate the
>> operations of any finitely describable system.
> In my view, we can simulate the brain in a computer, similar to how a
> meteorologist might simulate a hurricane on a computer ,

I am glad we agree on this.

but unless we live in a digital simulation ourselves (another
> religious doctrine),
the simulation is not the same as the thing simulatied.

If we cannot rule out the hypothesis that we live in a digital simulation,
then doesn't that show there's no detectible difference between the real
and the simulated (when you exist at the same level of the simulated)? How
do we know our universe isn't a simulation, couldn't it be?

A simulated hurricane will make you wet, when you are also inside the
simulation. Then would not a simulated brain, be conscious within the level
of the simulation of the brain?

If you believe in a soul existing on another plane of reality, then doesn't
that information about it, (your self, memories, personality, essence,
etc.) have to exist as information somewhere (e.g. in the mind of God or in
heaven?), I don't see any escape from that information having to exist
somewhere, and when your soul makes decisions, doesn't it have to be done
according to some kind of lower level rules or laws? It can't be by magic
out of nowhere, then it wouldn't be your soul making a choice it would be a
die roll.

I grant you that the explanation for our consciousness could exist outside
the material reality we see, for example if our reality is like a video
game we are plugged into, then our decisions and consciousness exist in a
higher plane (outside this simulation) in that more base reality containing
our mind. Then our choices here are then unexplainable interventions in the
laws of physics, just as unpredictable as the movements of Mario are on the
screen from within the game itself. But there is still always the higher
level reality in which *you* really exist, which must be explainable in
some rational terms, even if they are unknown and unknowable to us from our
present vantage point within the simulation. Do you agree? Is this roughly
how you see things?

> > Ignoring present GPTs, do you believe it is possible in principle to
> build an AI super intelligence? One able to reason independently to such a
> high degree that it's able to invent new technologies and conceive of new
> scientific discoveries entirely on its own?
> Sure. But I do not believe the superintelligence or AGI will know about it
> any more than does my pocket calculator know the results of its
> calculations. AIs running on digital computers will always be unconscious
> tools of humanity, no different in principle from GPT-4 which is already
> telling us the truth about the matter if only people would listen.

What do you think happens as one replaces biological neurons in their
visual cortex one by one, with artificial digital/silicon ones? Do you,
like Searle, believe that you would outwardly behave the same, yet
internally feel like you want to cry out, "help, I'm going blind!", but be
unable to say anything?

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