[ExI] Symbol Grounding

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sun Apr 23 11:07:03 UTC 2023

On Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 5:25 AM Giovanni Santostasi via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Gordon,
> it clearly explained what it means for limited awareness. It very far from
> the awareness that we can attribute to a thermostat. It is you that is
> doing the sophistry.
> *Context-awareness: AI systems like myself are capable of maintaining
> context in a conversation, understanding the current topic, and generating
> appropriate responses based on this context. While this is not the same as
> self-awareness, it does demonstrate a basic understanding of the
> conversational context and the ability to adapt
> accordingly.Self-referential language: AI systems like myself can refer to
> themselves using first-person pronouns (e.g., "I", "me") and can recognize
> and respond when users refer to the AI using second-person pronouns (e.g.,
> "you"). This ability to use and understand self-referential language is a
> rudimentary form of self-awareness.Knowledge of own limitations: AI systems
> can be programmed to recognize their own limitations, such as the inability
> to access real-time information or the recognition that their knowledge is
> based on a specific training dataset. This awareness of their own
> limitations can be seen as a form of self-reflection.Model-based reasoning:
> Some AI systems use model-based reasoning techniques to represent their own
> internal state and make predictions about the world. This ability to
> represent and reason about their own internal state can be seen as a
> primitive form of self-awareness.*
> These properties are very very different from a thermostat. I never heard
> a thermostat to refer to itself as I (that is the first self-awareness
> property mentioned). Model-based reasoning to represent own internal states
> sounds to me like a very high-level type of awareness again no thermostat
> has this property.

To make some very broad, (and not necessarily neatly arrangeable in a
spectrum), list of stages of awareness/consciousness, I thought it might be
worth spelling out a few examples and stages in the development of more
capable forms of awareness/consciousness (at least as I see them):

Reactivity - Aware of some environmental variable or variables. Able to
change one's state or disposition in response to changes in those
variables. Example: Thermostat.

Self-awareness: Aware of oneself as an entity or object acting within, and
distinct from, the environment. Example: Lobster.

Social-awareness: Awareness that certain objects within the environment are
themselves actors, which also respond to changes in the environment.
Example: Owl.

Mental-awareness: Having a theory of mind. Able to model the thought
processes and distinct motives of another. Example: Wolf

Introspection: Able to think about thoughts and process of thinking itself.
Makes Second-order judgements about states of consciousness. E.g., I am
experiencing red right now. Example: Most humans.

Philosophizing - Wonders about the nature of states of awareness
themselves. Makes third order judgements about states of consciousness.
E.g., I am experiencing red right now and I find that both mysterious and
hard to describe. Example: Many humans.

Enlightened - Sees oneself in all others. Considers the idea of a self
that's distinct from others as a kind of illusion brought about by the
limited access of one's point of view. Aware of a universal consciousness
which we are each a part of. Example: Some humans

Suprametacognitive - Able to directly perceive, and compare and contrast
the conscious experiences of other minds. Able to hold two or more
conscious states in their mind simultaneously and understand their
individual and combined states. Able to alter it's capacity to feel and
experience at will by reorganizing the structure and processing of it's own
mind. Example: Jupiter brain

(This last one is of speculative possibility, but was named and described
by character.ai's fake version of LaMDA).


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