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

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Wed Apr 19 00:10:25 UTC 2023

On Tue, Apr 18, 2023, 5:58 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> 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 "

I just want to know what you mean by "physical". As I showed there is a
variety of opinions on what stuff is deep down. Do you have an opinion? Do
you think it is determinable?

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

Dennett is talking about what people think qualia are, not what physical
objects are, nor even what he thinks qualia are.

Note I agreed with you that Dennett is wrong to say qualia are an illusion.
My only contention was with defining qualia as physical qualities. Why not
say they are experiential qualities?

>> 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.

The "Perception of redness" is a quale, is it not?

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.

I don't follow. From your definitions above, the two are equivalent:

1. perceiving "redness"
2. perceiving "the quality of your subjective perception of red things"

Is not one's "subjective perception of red things" a quale? Are qualia not

>> 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.

I don't think it's possible. But my position is not firm. I am open to
hearing any argument for why it is possible.

>>   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.

I'm not trying as hard as I can to assume anything. I just mention it as an
example to show that the dualism vs. monism question is not always cut and
dry, and may need some qualification or clarification as to ok what one's
assumptions are regarding the ultimate ontology, and what one means by

There is Objective physics, which is anything our senses can detect
> (including with detection machinery, and communication from others.)

This is not far off then from the definition I gave where physics is
defined by the capacity for mutual interaction and causality.

And there is subjective physics.

I might use the word laws here to avoid ambiguity but I see what you're
saying. I'm not opposed to saying there are rules or laws to which apply to
subjectivity. I believe Chalmers called these psychophysical laws.

  Our consciousness is composed of phenomenal qualities like redness and
> greenness.


Anything we get from our senses is necessarily the same as text.

At the lowest levels of receiving input, information is just information.
But that information gets handled differently the further into the brain it
goes, and the different levels of processing, pattern recognition,
comparison and discrimination ultimately yield rich and deep states, which
may be uniquely perceived.

And just as you can't communicate to someone what redness is like, via only
> text,

I agree with this. But then how does one "eff the ineffable"?

our senses can't tell us what anything out there is qualitatively like.

Right all we can see is our own perceptions.

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.

Have you read Chalmers dancing qualia argument:
https://consc.net/papers/qualia.html ?

>> 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
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/6-Representational-Qualia>,
> but do you see any issues in the RQT
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/6-Representational-Qualia>
> camp statement itself?  (Note, "physical qualities" are not used in the
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/6-Representational-Qualia>
> statement, to make functionalists happy and agree with everything)

The first paragraph seemed reasonable to me.

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