[ExI] My guesses about GPTs consciousness

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Mon Apr 17 06:14:25 UTC 2023

On Sun, Apr 16, 2023 at 4:55 AM Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> So your definition of consciousness is of a qualitative state.
> Something one has or one does not? Then would you agree that of the
> animals you do not deem conscious are instead sentient to a greater or
> lesser degree?

### No,no, consciousness is a quantity! It's just that most animals have
zero consciousness, some animals have tiny sparks of it, humans have a
flickering flame, and the superhuman AI will be like a blazing sun.

> Apparently the human brain architecture is topologically more like a
> recurrent neural network (RNN) than a transformer feed forward network
> (FFN) such as GPT. RNNs use loops between ordinal layers to generate
> what is called "attention" in machine learning.
> Transformers, on the other hand, use a feature called "self-attention"
> that allows the attention loops to be in parallel, with all the
> attention confined on the same layer that generated it. Delirium is a
> very interesting intuition for what it might be like to be a
> transformer model. By nature of its attention loops, if it experienced
> anything at all, then it would have to experience everything related
> to a topic at once. Parallel execution of all possible trains of
> thoughts from an input, before choosing one to express.

### AFAIK the cortex processes inputs in parallel, with activation
spreading e.g. from a primary sensory cortex to multiple cortical areas
(linguistic, physical modeling, social modeling) in a subconscious way and
then some of the results of the widespread activation may enter the global
workspace and thus consciousness through an attention mechanism that works
at the level of the whole brain. I know too little about the details of
RNNs vs FFN but my guess is that the human brain has features that have not
yet been implemented in AIs... at least not in a planned way.

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