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

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Thu Apr 13 21:46:06 UTC 2023

*I suppose the real question is about one *or* the other. If the latter
does not explain the former then I would say it is incomplete, and I think
it is.*Gordon, NO !
Because the map is not the territory and it should not be. Why do you
refuse to address this analogy of mine that I think captures the deep
misunderstanding about how science works and what science's goal is when
they mention the dreaded "explanatory gap".
I think my analogy is completely relevant. Science is not supposed to
reproduce perfectly the territory, it is not a limitation but a feature. I
went into detail about why it is so.
Can you please address this and explain why I'm wrong?

If you don't like what science does and it is then invent your own
epistemology, show us what science that EVOKES the thing that it tries to
explain. I think it is called MAGIK and it is something that exists in
fantasy novels, not the real world. So what this Gordonian Science would
look like?
I'm curious.


On Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 1:17 PM Gordon Swobe via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 4:23 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> But recently it's been shown, somewhat technically, how for certain
>> complex recursive systems, these first person properties naturally emerge.
>> This happens without having to add new neuroscience, physics, or math, just
>> applying our existing understanding of the mathematical notion of
>> incompleteness.
>> See: https://www.eskimo.com/~msharlow/firstper.htm
> Thank you for this. I have spent several hours studying this paper. As you
> say, it is somewhat technical. I used GPT-4 as a research partner (a
> fantastic tool even if it has no idea what it is saying). I conclude that
> while it is interesting and might aid in understanding the brain and mind,
> and how subjectivity works in objective terms, it does not overcome the
> explanatory gap. Even if this author is correct on every point, it is still
> the case that for a reductionist account of consciousness like this to be
> successful, it must provide an explanation of how subjective experience
> arises from objective processes.
> I hope this paper might show that we can keep our inaccessible,
>> irreducible, real first person properties *and* have a rational description
>> of the brain and it's objectively visible behavior. We don't have to give
>> up one to have the other.
> I suppose the real question is about one *or* the other. If the latter
> does not explain the former then I would say it is incomplete, and I think
> it is.
> I would like to revisit a topic we discussed when I first (re)-entered
> this forum a few weeks ago:
> You were making the argument that because GPT can "understand" English
> words about mathematical relationships and translate them into the language
> of mathematics and even draw diagrams of houses and so on, that this was
> evidence that it had solved the grounding problem for itself with respect
> to mathematics. Is that still your contention? My thought at the time was
> that you must not have the knowledge to understand the problem, and so I
> let it go, but I've since learned that you are very intelligent and very
> knowledgeable. I am wondering how you could make what appears, at least to
> me, an obvious mistake. Perhaps you can tell me why you think I am mistaken
> to say you are mistaken.
> -gts
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