[ExI] all we are is just llms

Gordon Swobe gordon.swobe at gmail.com
Sat Apr 22 10:00:15 UTC 2023

On Sat, Apr 22, 2023 at 2:43 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> (you think that pointing is not a language? I suspect many deaf people
> would disagree)

Fine with me. Sign language is also a form of language.

> This is why referring to linguistics is not helping.

? Because we are going to include sign language in our definition of
language, linguistics is not helping? Linguists consider sign language also
to be a form of language.

In our primitive caveman example, in which he points at let us say an
animal, his first "words" in sign language translate to something like
"Look over there! See what I see?" Based on how frantic or calm is his
gesturing, his interlocutor might also know if his friend perceives the
animal as a threat or as food. Now he has two words. Before long, Fred and
Barney are also grunting identifiable noises as their sign language evolves
into more complex verbal language.

> As I said earlier, it's the wrong discipline here.

Language models model language and linguistics is the science of language.

> Referents, being internal conceptual models, *are made of language*. They
must be, because there's nothing else to work with, in the brain.

Really? My brain has visual perceptions and sounds and imaginations and
non-verbal thoughts and music and many things going on that can be
*described* with language but are not language.

I understand what you are trying to say about the "language of the brain"
but I would say you are conflating neurology and language.

The statement "referents are made of language" is simply false on the
definition of referent. Only a tiny subset of words in the English language
have language as referents. Linguists call them meta-words. They are parts
of speech and similar. For example, the word "nouns" refers to the set of
all nouns.


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