[ExI] are qualia communicable? Was Why stop at glutamate?

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Sat Apr 15 22:14:49 UTC 2023

Here for example I asked GPT-4 to make sense of your standard explanation
of the redness of red. I asked in addition how we would go about to know
what the redness of Joe is vs Mary. Here is the response. Do you think
GPT-4 understands what you are trying to communicate?

The person also mentions the importance of having a "dictionary" or a
common understanding of the terminology being used. By having a shared
understanding of terms, people can better communicate their subjective
experiences, like color perception.

To know the "redness" of Joe vs. Mary, we would need to understand their
individual color perceptions and how they relate to each other. This could
be achieved by:

Communication: Engaging in conversations with Joe and Mary to understand
how they describe their experience of 'redness.' This may involve asking
them to describe or compare their perception of red to other colors, or to
provide examples of objects they perceive as red.

Testing: Performing tests to assess Joe's and Mary's color vision, such as
the Ishihara test or the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test. These tests can
help determine if either individual has any color vision deficiencies or
unique color perception abilities.

Context: Understanding the background and context of Joe's and Mary's
experiences with color. This could include factors such as their cultural
background, personal experiences, or any unique circumstances that may have
influenced their perception of color.

In summary, to know the "redness" of Joe vs. Mary, one must engage in
communication, perform tests, and understand their individual contexts to
better comprehend their unique color perceptions. However, it's important
to note that color perception is subjective, and fully understanding
someone else's experience of color can be challenging.

On Sat, Apr 15, 2023 at 2:57 PM Giovanni Santostasi <gsantostasi at gmail.com>

> Another even deeper mystery that the communicability of qualia is how the
> brain creates an I.
> If you think about it, somehow the qualia is "communicated" among the
> 100,000s or even millions of neurons that are needed to
> experience something like red. By the way, there was some time ago some
> talk about "mother neurons" or single neurons that were activated when a
> particular face was shown, almost implying we have in our brains a neuron
> that activates when we see Brad Pitt. I'm not sure what is the status of
> that line of research (I will look it up) but I don't think any experience
> is associated with the activation of a single neuron.
> Anyway, I'm pretty sure that when we experience something millions of
> neurons are involved.
> Jason, given you know so much about consciousness, how do these neurons
> communicate to each other the experience of red (or anything else)? Somehow
> millions of individual entities come together and say "I see red". I think
> this phenomenon is even more important to understand than qualia.
> Understanding of this phenomenon comes first because somehow there is some
> sharing and integration of experience among these neurons. The qualia are
> indeed communicated among these neurons at least. There is no point to talk
> about qualia if we don't understand how an I is created by the brain in the
> first place.
> How the activity of many becomes the experience of an I?
> Giovanni
> On Sat, Apr 15, 2023 at 12:17 PM efc--- via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Sat, 15 Apr 2023, Jason Resch via extropy-chat wrote:
>> > We can rewire all of Bob's brain to equal all of Alice's brain. Then we
>> can ensure that when they look at the same strawberry under
>> > the same light they see the same thing. But short of that there will
>> always be doubts, if not an impossibility, that the two can ever
>> > experience the same state of subjective awareness. And the requirement
>> of rewiring a brain I think is proof that qualia aren't
>> > communicable, and why experience is always trapped within and forever
>> bound to the experiencer.
>> You can even argue that time is a component. Space, time, software and
>> hardware, and since the two, regardless of equal hardware and software,
>> cannot occupy the same space at the same time it is impossible to ever
>> be certain.
>> I think I vaguely tried to make this point somewhere "up there" but I
>> think I'll have to reside with Jason on this one.
>> Best regards,
>> Daniel
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