[ExI] all we are is just llms was

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Mon Apr 24 08:01:15 UTC 2023

GPT-4: I can offer a rough estimate based on a general understanding of the
English language.

It's important to keep in mind that this is an approximation, and the
distinction between physical objects and abstract ideas or intangible
things is not always clear. Some words can have multiple meanings, and
others can be used metaphorically.

Considering the nature of language, it's reasonable to assume that around
40% of the 170,000 words in the English language might refer to physical
objects, while the remaining 60% could refer to abstract ideas or
intangible things. However, this is only a rough estimate, and the actual
distribution may vary.

On Mon, Apr 24, 2023 at 12:49 AM Giovanni Santostasi <gsantostasi at gmail.com>

> *In particular, semantic interpretations no longer line up very neatly
> with what appears to be true of the world. That is, we appear to be able to
> truthfully attribute properties to “things” that don’t exist  *
> https://carleton.ca/cognitivescience/wp-content/uploads/2003-03.pdf
> On Mon, Apr 24, 2023 at 12:34 AM Giovanni Santostasi <
> gsantostasi at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  * 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.
>> https://carleton.ca/cognitivescience/wp-content/uploads/2003-03.pdf
>> 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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