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

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Wed Apr 12 19:18:01 UTC 2023

On Wed, Apr 12, 2023 at 10:25 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> What do you think would happen to a person whose visual cortex were
> replaced with a functionally equivalent silicon computer?

As someone who's worked on this concept, and seen results in patients where
this - more or less - was actually done:

> A) They wouldn't notice and there would be no change in their subjectivity
> or objectively observable behavior
> B) They would notice the change in their subjectivity (perhaps noticing a
> kind of blindness) but they would function the same as before and not say
> anything
> C) They would notice the change and they would complain about being blind
> but would still be able to function as if they can see
> D) They would notice and become functionally blind, not able to drive,
> walk without bumping into things, etc.
> E) Something else

B.  An attempt is made at "perfectly functionally equivalent" but that
ideal has not been achieved in practice.  There is enough of a difference
to notice.  That said, in all cases I've seen so far the difference has
been an improvement - not something worth complaining about.  (Granted, the
cases I've seen have been replacing a broken cortex or other such
component, giving sight to the formerly blind.  The "functional
equivalence" comes in for those who lost their sight, attempting to restore
what they had.  While there are degrees of blindness one could slide down
in theory - it is possible for some legally blind people to become more
blind - I have not seen this happen when this procedure is done.)  I
suppose that might be more in the spirit of C, since they might comment on
and compliment the difference, but by the literal wording of the choices B
is closest to the observed results.

Then again, in the cases I've seen, the difference was the point of the
replacement.  But the results observed suggest that perfect replacement
would not happen even for direct replacement.
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