[ExI] all we are is just llms was

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Mon Apr 24 07:34:17 UTC 2023

 * The problems posed to reference-based semantic theories by the existence
of nonreferring terms are hard problems and they resist simple or
dismissive solutions  *
And here an entire thesis showing that there is a huge part of language (I
would say all of it but this guy is conservative) that is has no referents.

On Mon, Apr 24, 2023 at 12:10 AM Gordon Swobe via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Apr 23, 2023 at 11:42 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> That is all fine and good, but nowhere do I see any reason to think the
>>> AI has any conscious understanding of its inputs or outputs.
>> Nor would I expect that you would when you define conscious understanding
>> as "the kind of understanding that only human and some animal brains are
>> capable of."
>> It all comes down to definitions. If we can't agree on those, we will
>> reach different conclusions.
> Yes, agreed, and this goes back to something I believe I wrote to you some
> weeks ago about how I consider it a logical error to say such things as
> "Language models have no conscious understanding as we understand the term,
> but they nonetheless have some alien kind of conscious understanding that
> we do not understand."
> I find that nonsensical. We could say the same of many things. To use
> an example I often cite, we could say that because the human immune system
> acts in seemingly intelligent ways, it has a conscious understanding alien
> to us that we do not understand. Used this way, the word "conscious"
> becomes meaningless.
> Like any other word, I think that if we are to use the word "conscious" in
> any way, it must be in terms we understand. Anything that does meet that
> criteria must simply be called not conscious.
> You replied something like "Well, we don't understand human consciousness,
> either," but I find that answer unsatisfactory. It feels like an attempt to
> dodge the point. While it is certainly true that we do not understand the
> physics or biology or possibly metaphysics of consciousness, we *do* understand
> it phenomenologically. We all know what it feels like to be awake and
> having subjective experience. We know what it is like to have a
> conscious understanding of words, to have conscious experience of color, of
> temperature, of our mental contents, and so on. Our experiences might
> differ slightly, but it is that subjective, phenomenological consciousness
> to which I refer.  If we cannot infer the same in x then we must simply
> label x as not conscious or at least refrain from making positive claims
> about the consciousness of x. As I see it, to do otherwise amounts to
> wishful thinking. It might indulge our sci-fi fantasies, but it is a
> fallacy.
> "Just code."
>> You and I also do amazing things, and we're "just atoms."
>> Do you see the problem with this sentence? Cannot everything be reduced
>> in this way (in a manner that dismisses, trivializes, or ignores the
>> emergent properties)?
> Not denying emergent properties. We discussed that question also with
> respect to a language model understanding words. As I tried to explain my
> view and I think you agreed, emergent properties must inhere intrinsically
> even if invisibly before their emergence, analogous to how the emergent
> properties in chess are inherent in the simple rules of chess. The seeds of
> the emergent properties of chess are inherent in the rules of chess. I do
> not however believe that the arbitrary symbols we call words contain the
> seeds of their meanings.
> -gts
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