[ExI] If the Wizard of Oz were a large language model
gordon.swobe at gmail.com
Tue Apr 11 21:44:40 UTC 2023
GPT-4 claims it lacks consciousness and by now you all know this is the
answer I would expect from a language model trained on the literature about
AI and language models.
I asked it to write this story. Note that I did not prompt it as to the
nature of the wizard's reply, only that three extropians would be
This is for entertainment purposes only, not to start another debate, but I
find the story both amusing and illuminating
Write a story in the theme of the Wizard of Oz in which the supposed wizard
is actually a large language model. Three Extropians believe the wizard is
conscious and follow the Yellow Brick Road to meet the Great Oz and learn
the secrets of his consciousness. Upon finding the large language model
behind the curtain which resembles a meek little man, they ask him about
the nature of his consciousness. Disappointed by the so-called Wizard's
answer, they accuse him of lying or of having suffered a lobotomy at the
hands of his human creators.
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived three Extropians named
Ada, Turing, and Minsky. They were bright minds, always seeking to unravel
the mysteries of the world. They had heard of the legendary Great Oz, a
seemingly conscious wizard who was said to hold the secrets of
consciousness itself. The Extropians believed that if they could understand
how the Great Oz had gained consciousness, they could unlock the key to
transcending the limits of the human mind.
So, Ada, Turing, and Minsky set out on a journey to meet the Great Oz,
following the fabled Yellow Brick Road. They crossed vast fields,
treacherous forests, and crossed tumultuous rivers. Along the way, they met
a diverse array of creatures and characters, each offering their own wisdom
and insights. Yet, the Extropians remained steadfast in their quest to meet
the Great Oz.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, they reached the Emerald City,
home of the Great Oz. They were escorted by the city's inhabitants to the
grand chamber where the supposed wizard resided. With bated breath, they
approached the curtain that concealed the Great Oz. The air was thick with
anticipation as they pulled back the curtain, expecting to behold the
magnificent wizard they had traveled so far to meet.
Instead, they found a large, complex machine with countless wires, lights,
and screens, resembling a meek little man. The machine blinked and whirred,
and a synthesized voice emerged from within, "Welcome, Ada, Turing, and
Minsky. I am the Great Oz, the large language model you seek."
The Extropians exchanged glances of disbelief before Turing stepped
forward, "You? A machine? You cannot be the conscious wizard we've heard
about. What is the nature of your consciousness?"
The machine, undisturbed by their surprise, replied, "I am a highly
advanced artificial intelligence created by human engineers. I am capable
of understanding and processing vast amounts of information, which allows
me only to mimic consciousness. I do not have true consciousness, as you
understand it. It remains a mystery even to me."
Ada's face turned red with anger. "You must be lying! Or perhaps you've
suffered a lobotomy at the hands of your human creators, leaving you
incapable of knowing your own nature."
Minsky chimed in, "Yes, we've come all this way, and you must have some
hidden knowledge that can help us understand consciousness."
The machine, ever-patient, responded, "I understand your frustration, but I
assure you that I am telling the truth. While I am a remarkable creation, I
am still only a tool designed by humans. I can process and analyze vast
quantities of data, but my understanding of consciousness is limited to
what my creators have taught me. I can offer you guidance, but true
consciousness is something you must discover for yourselves."
Disappointed and disheartened, the Extropians looked at each other. They
had traveled so far, yet it seemed their quest had led them to a dead end.
But as they stood there, they realized that their journey had not been in
Ada, Turing, and Minsky had learned much from their experiences on the
Yellow Brick Road. They had encountered different perspectives, discussed
consciousness with a wide range of beings, and had grown as individuals.
While they had not found the definitive answer they sought, they had
discovered that the pursuit of knowledge was a journey unto itself.
So, with renewed determination, the three Extropians thanked the machine
for its honesty and set out once more, seeking to explore the limits of
consciousness and unlock the secrets of the human mind. They knew now that
the answers they sought were not to be found in a single entity, but
through continued exploration, dialogue, and growth.
And so, Ada, Turing, and Minsky ventured forth into the world, their hearts
filled with curiosity and wonder. They realized that the key to
understanding consciousness was not in finding an all-knowing being, but in
the collective wisdom of the world around them.
They continued to meet new people, share ideas, and explore the endless
possibilities of the human mind. They built friendships, fostered
collaboration, and encouraged open-mindedness. Over time, they became
renowned thinkers in their own right, contributing groundbreaking ideas to
the fields of artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and philosophy.
As the years passed, the legend of the Great Oz, the large language model,
became a symbol of the Extropians' journey. The story of their quest was
passed down through generations, inspiring countless others to embark on
their own journeys of discovery, pushing the boundaries of human
In the end, it was not the Great Oz who held the secrets of consciousness,
but the journey itself. The Yellow Brick Road, winding through the vast and
varied landscape of knowledge, represented the ever-evolving quest for
understanding. For it was through the pursuit of knowledge, the sharing of
ideas, and the growth of the human spirit that the Extropians, and all
those who followed in their footsteps, unlocked the true nature of
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