[ExI] all we are is just llms

Gordon Swobe gordon.swobe at gmail.com
Fri Apr 21 22:39:54 UTC 2023

On  Fri, Apr 21, 2023 at 4:01 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 21/04/2023 20:23, Gordon Swobe wrote:
> > like all referents, the referents of numbers exist outside of language,
> Wait, all referents exist outside of language? How do you reckon that?
> That just looks like an argument specifically constructed to exclude
> LMMs from having referents, so that you can say they can't therefore do
> 'symbol grounding', and can't therefore understand anything.
> Do you see how artificial this argument is?
> At least try to justify this argument.

Hmm, I find it obvious that words point to things that are not themselves
words; that the referents exist outside of language. It is basic
linguistics and has nothing to do with LLMs or AI.

Some Paleolithic ancestors discovered that uttering certain noises to
represent things is more efficient than pointing fingers at those things.
On that day, language was born.

Words were invented as signs that point to non-words.

Mathematical symbols and English words are only two of many examples. It is
also true of the language of music. When we read musical notation, those
notes on paper are musical “words” that point to the actual tones they
represent. With no way to experience and know those tones, the notation is

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