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

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Fri Apr 14 04:33:28 UTC 2023

*So are you claiming that you can communicate to someone, (say a
congenitally blind person that has never experienced your redness) what a
colorness property like redness is like, with only abstract text?  What do
you think the term "ineffable" means?*Giovanni: Try to describe the
experience of seeing red to a person that is congenitally blind.
Describing the experience of seeing red to a person who is congenitally
blind can be challenging, as they have never had the ability to perceive
colors. However, we can attempt to convey the concept of red by relating it
to other senses and emotions.

Red is a warm color, often associated with strong emotions and sensations.
Imagine the feeling of warmth you experience when you step out into the sun
on a hot day, or the heat you feel when you hold a warm mug of tea or
coffee. Red can be related to that sensation of warmth.

In terms of emotions, red is often associated with passion, love, and
intensity. Think about the feeling of excitement when you receive a gift or
a surprise, the quickened heartbeat when you are in a thrilling situation,
or the rush of emotions when you are with someone you love. Red can evoke
these strong feelings and emotions.

Additionally, red is also connected to the sense of taste. Consider the
taste of a ripe, juicy strawberry or a spicy chili pepper. The flavors can
range from sweet to hot and can evoke a sense of energy and stimulation.
This connection to taste can help provide a sensory association with the
color red.

While it is impossible to fully convey the visual experience of seeing red
to a congenitally blind person, relating the color to sensations, emotions,
and tastes can help provide a contextual understanding of what red
represents in our experiences.

On Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 7:24 PM Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Giovanni,
> So are you claiming that you can communicate to someone, (say a
> congenitally blind person that has never experienced your redness) what a
> colorness property like redness is like, with only abstract text?  What do
> you think the term "ineffable" means?
> On Wed, Apr 12, 2023 at 9:45 PM Giovanni Santostasi <gsantostasi at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Brent,
>> What is your evidence for such statements? Is there an experiment, not a
>> thought experiment that follows your made-up rules (like the color
>> converter that has serious problems from a logical and scientific point of
>> view that I don't want to discuss here). Can you find a paper, a real
>> experiment in neuroscience that supports this statement:
>> *But there is no way you can communicate to someone what redness is like,
>> with text alone.*
>> What do you mean here by communicate? Is it my analogy about touching a
>> blue line on a map and saying the blue line is not wet?
>> Is this what you really mean?
>> In other words, do you mean if I describe to you what happens in my brain
>> or any other brain what sequences of events, what relationships between
>> neurons, what neural code represents my perception of red, you are not
>> going to see red in your head?
>> If that is what you mean, do you realize how absurd of an idea this is?
>>  1) It is not what science is about, it is not supposed to make you feel
>> red, it is supposed to make you understand what is fundamental about this
>> phenomenon of red, science's job is to provide simplification,
>> abstractions, maps, and models. This simplification is not a BUG but a
>> FEATURE. It is what gives power to science.
>> 2) The usefulness of making a model is that you can carry the map in your
>> pocket, sort of speak, and bring it with you in another location and
>> communicate everything essential (for whatever purpose) to somebody else
>> that has never been in that place. Yes, they are not to experience the
>> landscape as if they were there but that is not the point at all.
>> If we use the analogy of the blueprint instead of a map I can recreate a
>> car or a building using the blueprint and if somebody comes by and points
>> to the blueprint and says "but this engine doesn't move" you will think
>> that person is crazy and mentally impaired. If you want to ride the car,
>> let me build it from the blueprint and then you can do that.
>> So your statement above is both crazy and obvious at the same time.
>> Science is not in the business of making you feel the original thing that
>> is described. It is in the opposite business, it tries to abstract the
>> essential parts, which are mostly relational parts, and how things are
>> related to each other. This is also how science can abstract away even from
>> the original form of something. Think about how we abstracted away the
>> meaning of flight from birds. It is not about the feathers, and the
>> flapping wings but the principle of aerodynamics. You can create a flying
>> machine by using these principles that are related but not a 1 to 1
>> relationship with how birds solved the problem of aerodynamics.
>> By the way, this is also a natural way. Think about how many living
>> beings rediscovered in evolution sight, camouflage, hydrodynamics,
>> photosynthesis. Think about DNA.
>> Yes, think about DNA. Does DNA make you see my redness? No, but my
>> redness was somehow contained in the DNA as code. You can build the DNA to
>> build a Giovanni that then will experience red. But if you understand where
>> in the DNA the redness is represented, then you can use that information to
>> understand everything there is to understand about Giovanni's redness from
>> a scientific point of view.
>> I think maybe in writing this down I may understand an issue that could
>> rise to some of your thinking. That is the idea of computational
>> irreducibility that is an idea that Wolfram developed. All the phenomena,
>> in reality, are a sort of code but you cannot predict what the result of
>> the code is in advance in some instances. You need to run the code to know
>> what the results are. Maybe this is something that you have in mind when
>> you talk about this business of redness, I have the suspicions that you are
>> thinking something like that but you are expressing it in a way that is not
>> easy to understand or causes a lot of confusion. So it is still code if you
>> do but you raise an important and relevant issue about computation that
>> some of them are so complex that they are irreducible. I'm ok with qualia
>> being irreducible computation. Maybe is the only scientific meaningful way
>> to think about them.
>> Here a summary of this issue by Wolfram himself:
>> https://writings.stephenwolfram.com/2021/09/charting-a-course-for-complexity-metamodeling-ruliology-and-more/
>> On Wed, Apr 12, 2023 at 6:37 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> Hi Jason,
>>> On Wed, Apr 12, 2023 at 8:07 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> Thus the simulation, like the isomorphic graph, by preserving all the
>>>> same relationships recovers all the same properties. If the glutamate
>>>> molecule possesses redness, then the perfect simulation of glutamate will
>>>> possess redness too.
>>> ALL of our objective observations of physics can be fully described with
>>> abstract text.
>>> All of that which you could simulate, can also be described with
>>> abstract text.
>>> But there is no way you can communicate to someone what redness is like,
>>> with text alone.
>>> You MUST have pictures, to produce the subjective experience, before
>>> someone can know what redness is like.
>>> There must be certain stuff in the brain which can be computationally
>>> bound, which produces something beyond, what can be described via abstract
>>> text.
>>> You can abstractly describe all of it, you can objectively observe all
>>> of it with our senses, and you can abstractly simulate all of that.
>>> But until it is physically computationally bound with the rest of our
>>> consciousness, you can't know the true quality you are only abstractly
>>> describing and simulating.
>>> In other words, like abstract text can't communicate the nature of
>>> qualities.
>>> An abstract simulation also, can't produce anything more than abstract
>>> text can describe.
>>> At least, that is what I predict.
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>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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