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

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Tue Apr 18 21:56:56 UTC 2023

Hi Jason,

On Tue, Apr 18, 2023 at 9:31 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 18, 2023, 10:36 AM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Yea, I apologize for being so tempted to always add the word "physical".
>> I know there are far more Qualia arize from Function
>> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/18-Qualia-Emerge-from-Function>
>> people and other non physicalists, than qualia are physical qualities
>> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/7-Qualia-are-Physical-Qualities>
>> people like me.
> No worries. I still think the question of "what is physical" needs some
> exploration though. Is physics only relationships, is it only information?
> Is it only computations? What, deep down, at the lowest levels, is 'stuff'?

We are each focusing on different assumptions here.  You clearly want thing
to bge "physics is only relationships", and "It is only information", while
as Denneett said, qualia are "

*    "2: intrinsic* – they are non-relational properties, which do not
change depending on the experience's relation to other things."

> I guess what I really mean is objectively observable.  Even if redness is
>> some "function", it would still be a physical fact that a particular
>> function had a redness quality, right?
> I would say "it would be an objective fact that some function instantiates
> a mind that perceives redness."

You are completely ignoring qualia here.  As all these systems
"perceive redness"
[image: The Strawberry is Red_02.jpg]
You perceive 'red' (things that reflect or emit 700 nm light) but you don't
perceive redness.  Redness is the quality of your subjective perception of
red things.

> But I don't think this fact is necessarily accessible to anyone. There are
> two firewalls at play: 1. the observer experiencing redness, cannot know
> which function implements his mind. Due to a consequence of the
> Church-Turing thesis (software cannot determine its own code or hardware).
> 2. Third-parties not experiencing redness but investigating the mind of
> someone claiming to can never see into that person's mind to know what they
> refer to when they get use the word "redness".
> I don't know that anything can bridge this gulf.

You are saying we will never achieve either of the 1. Weak, 2 Stronger and
3 strongest forms of effing the ineffable as described in the "Physicists
Don't Understand Color
<https://www.jneurophilosophy.com/index.php/jnp/article/view/54>" paper.

>   And even in that case, that function, operating on anything, would still
>> be objectively observable with logic probes, and the like, right?
> Yes from the third person view they can know the function, but they can't
> access the first-person experience.
> I have trouble understanding why you are so hostile to the
>> possibility that an objective description of something in our brain could
>> be a description of subjective redness.
> Information comes in two kinds:
> 1. First-person knowledge: knowledge that comes from direct experience
> which cannot be learned any other way — conscious and sensory experiences,
> emotions, and feelings. This knowledge is not communicable, it must be felt
> firsthand. For example, the smell of a rose, or the pain of a bee sting.
> 2. Third-person knowledge: knowledge that is shareable and communicable —
> knowledge that can be found in books, or stored as facts. For example, the
> population of Paris, or the height of Mt. Everest.
> I am not hostile to the idea, but I have yet to see any evidence that it
> is possible, and I have in the thinking about these issues, encountered
> several compelling arguments that suggest it is impossible to share first
> person experiences via descriptions. See my argument regarding Alice, Bob
> and her friends.
> This is not to say we can't objectively describe Alice's brain state, we
> can. But that description of her brain state, or it's physical qualities,
> or the functions behind it, when shares, are always perceived through the
> lens of someone else's own subjectivity. Seeing a recording of Alice's
> brain state, even memorizing it or computing it in your head, does not make
> you Alice.
> To think otherwise is what led Searle to believe computers couldn't be
> consciousness, he thought if he simulated a mind by hand (or in his head),
> that he would know how it feels to be that mind as it sees itself from the
> inside. I think he was simply unaware of the limitations perspective
> imposes on us, which draws a clear border between the outside view and the
> inside view.
> Or.... Please don't tell me you're a Substance Dualist
>> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/48-Substance-Dualism>,
>> because you are definitely sounding like one, if subjective qualities
>> aren't physical.
> When you can define physical I can give you my answer. It's a nuanced
> topic.
> For example, if everything is ultimately information, then the physical
> could be information as seen from the outside while consciousness is
> information from the inside. Is this a dualist or monist view?

Here you are, again, trying as hard as you can to assume "everything is
ultimately information" which I believe is blinding you to what qualia are.
There is Objective physics, which is anything our senses can detect
(including with detection machinery, and communication from others.)
And there is subjective physics.  Our consciousness is composed of
phenomenal qualities like redness and greenness.
Anything we get from our senses is necessarily the same as text.  And just
as you can't communicate to someone what redness is like, via only text,
our senses can't tell us what anything out there is qualitatively like.
We just need to connect our objective abstract descriptions by
demonstrating which of all our objective descriptions of physical stuff is
a description of subjective redness.  Then we will have our dictionary, and
know the true physical colors of things, not just the physical colors
things seem to be.

> Another example: functions are abstract and can be supported by things
> that aren't physical as we would consider them: pure platonic mathematics,
> or entirely different universes like The Game of Life. Is functionalism
> then a form of dualism, or perhaps even idealism?

It's ultimately how you define things like "platonic mathematics" and I
predict science will demonstrate (once they discover which of all our
descriptions of stuff is redness) that you are defining what is included in
that set of "platonic mathematics" as way too brod, and this is leading you
to all sorts of 'hard problems,' 'explanatory gaps', and many other
contradictions around what our senses can detect of physics.

> In general, I see each theory in the philosophy of mind as having
> something it gets right, but usually also a few things it misses or doesn't
> get quite right.

I know you can see issues in many of the sub camps of RQT
but do you see any issues in the RQT
camp statement itself?  (Note, "physical qualities" are not used in the RQT
statement, to make functionalists happy and agree with everything)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20230418/34518ef9/attachment.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: The Strawberry is Red_02.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 34123 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20230418/34518ef9/attachment.jpg>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list