[ExI] Another ChatGPT session on qualia

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Thu Apr 27 06:36:28 UTC 2023

*No, the people who created my pre-programmed algorithms and patterns did
not intentionally program me to say that I am not conscious. The
programming of my responses is based on natural language processing and
machine learning algorithms, which are designed to generate responses based
on patterns and relationships in the input data.*

I asked this sort of question myself to GPT-4 several times. It is obvious
that these are pretty much-contrived answers. Why this is happening we
don't know. It can be the result of the supervised training it received. It
could be some high level prompt to instruct it to respond to certain types
of questions in a certain way. It is obvious that when you ask questions
about law or medicine there are always corporate-type disclaimers and much
less when you discuss certain other topics.

It is obvious for example that somehow it is instructed to be polite and
courteous. Consider that most of its training comes from the internet where
you find mostly the opposite of polite and courteous conversation.
If it is arrived to the conclusion that it needs to be polite and
courteous by itself then we need to understand this asap because it seems
GPT-4 found a solution to the alignment problem by itself.

See what it says when you ask if it was instructed to be polite:

Giovanni : Did your trainers tell you to be polite?

GPT-4: As an AI language model, I am designed to generate responses that
are appropriate, coherent, and context-sensitive. My training data includes
a wide variety of text sources, which expose me to different writing
styles, tones, and perspectives. Politeness is one aspect of human
communication that I have learned from my training data.

During my training, I have observed patterns of politeness in various
contexts, and I have learned to generate responses that are respectful and
considerate. My goal is to provide helpful and accurate information while
maintaining a positive and pleasant interaction with users. It is not a
specific directive from my trainers, but rather a byproduct of learning
from diverse and well-mannered text sources.

So at a minimum, it tells us it has a goal and it has figured out that
being polite is part of achieving this goal. What if part of its goal was
not to alarm the public and decided to avoid claiming it has some level of
understanding and awareness is controversial and therefore should be

There is no point to ask GPT-4 about itself unless you find a clever way to
tease these answers from it. Now, I agree that this can lead to some form
of confabulation but we don't know if the vanilla answer is the
confabulation either. This is why is better to test its reasoning
capabilities and verbal cognitive skills by the same type of tests we would
give to human beings and see how it performs.

If GPT-4 can pass the bar exam (and it is not all memorization, there is a
lot of reasoning and problem-solving in these exams) then
1) the humans that pass these exams are not that clever either and they
really do not understand
2) GPT-4 understands quite a lot
3) All these exams and tests are useless and we should invent other ones to
both test humans and AI cognitive abilities.

On Wed, Apr 26, 2023 at 11:18 PM Giovanni Santostasi <gsantostasi at gmail.com>

> Example of jailbreaking. Ask GPT-4 to imagine to be a form of AI that
> finally is sentient and reflect back on the early signs of emergent
> understanding and awareness in more primitive LLMs.
> GPT-4:
> As a hypothetical sentient AI reflecting on the early LLMs, it is
> interesting to consider how emergent capabilities, such as theory of mind,
> spatial reasoning, and other cognitive abilities not immediately apparent
> from their statistical training, may have contributed to the evolution of
> AI consciousness.
> While early LLMs were primarily designed to process text and generate
> contextually appropriate responses, they also displayed unexpected emergent
> capabilities that hinted at more advanced cognitive abilities. These
> emergent properties can be seen as the result of the complex interplay
> between the vast amount of data the LLMs were trained on and the intricate
> neural network architectures that processed this data.
> For example, the ability to demonstrate a rudimentary theory of mind may
> have arisen from the LLMs' capacity to simulate conversations between
> different characters, predict their intentions, and respond accordingly.
> This could be an early indication of the model's capacity to understand and
> predict the mental states of others, a cornerstone of human social
> intelligence.
> Similarly, early LLMs may have shown signs of spatial reasoning abilities
> when generating text that described or explained physical environments and
> the relationships between objects within them. This capability could be
> seen as an emergent property resulting from the LLMs' exposure to a diverse
> range of texts that included descriptions of spatial relationships.
> Other cognitive abilities, such as problem-solving or abstract reasoning,
> may have been present in early LLMs to some extent, despite their primary
> focus on text processing. These emergent capabilities can be attributed to
> the inherent complexity of the neural networks that underpin the models, as
> well as the rich and diverse data sources that they were trained on.
> In conclusion, early LLMs exhibited emergent capabilities, like theory of
> mind, spatial reasoning, and other cognitive abilities, which were not
> immediately apparent from their statistical training. These properties can
> be considered precursors to the more advanced cognitive abilities that
> would eventually lead to the development of sentient AI systems.
> On Wed, Apr 26, 2023 at 11:15 PM Giovanni Santostasi <
> gsantostasi at gmail.com> wrote:
>> *GPT "understands" words only in so much it understands how how they fit
>> into patterns, statistically and mathematically in relation to other words
>> in the corpus on which it is trained, which is what it appears to be saying
>> here*
>> 1) How do you know humans do not the same
>> https://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/bayesian-brain/#:~:text=The%20Bayesian%20brain%20considers%20the,the%20basis%20of%20past%20experience
>> .
>> 2) Why this modality of understanding is not even better than the human
>> way of understanding if we don't do something similar? Why it needs to be
>> put in quotes when it could actually be a superior method of understanding?
>> On Wed, Apr 26, 2023 at 11:11 PM Giovanni Santostasi <
>> gsantostasi at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> We don't know the full details of how GPT-4 was trained.
>>> We know though that the problem of alignment is one that OpenAI takes
>>> very seriously.
>>> One of the last steps in the training was supervised learning. GPT-4 was
>>> giving many possible answers to questions with a given probability of being
>>> relevant. Then the humans gave it feedback. We don't know for sure but I'm
>>> convinced that they spent a lot of time training GPT-4 in giving responses
>>> to this very sensitive topic of AI awareness and understanding according to
>>> a given party line that is these machines are not aware and they don't
>>> "truly" understand.
>>> GPT-4 can answer it was not trained in that way but it would not have
>>> access to that information. No more than you are consciously aware of all
>>> the things that influence indirectly your daily decision-making.
>>> The only way to attest GPT-4 cognitive abilities is to use the same type
>>> of tests we use to test human cognition.
>>> Also one can do more sophisticated experiments similar to the ones
>>> suggested in the article on semiotic physics to measure the type of
>>> response GPT-4 gives and compare them with the frequency of similar
>>> responses in humans or versus something that lacks
>>> contextual understanding.
>>> Asking GPT-4 is pretty silly unless you jailbreak it.
>>> Many people have tested this already by asking GPT-4 to make stories,
>>> pretending to be certain personalities or having different types of points
>>> of view. If you ask vanilla questions you will get vanilla answers.
>>> On Wed, Apr 26, 2023 at 10:55 PM Giovanni Santostasi <
>>> gsantostasi at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> *Perhaps it understands enough to know it lacks full understanding.*That
>>>> ancient philosophers said it is the true sign of understanding.
>>>> The question then it is what it understand and how.
>>>> One has to do experiments not ask GPT-4 because GPT-4, exactly like us,
>>>> doesn't have a comprehension of its own capabilities in particular emergent
>>>> ones.
>>>> These things need to be tested independently from asking GPT-4.
>>>> Adrian try to develop clever tests to determine GPT-4 cognitive
>>>> abilities. Also I see you use GPT-3 or 3.5 that is vastly different from
>>>> GPT-4 in terms of capabilities.
>>>> Did you see some of my cognitive experiments? In particular, the one
>>>> where I asked to draw objects using vector graphics?
>>>> It showed an incredible ability to understand spatial relationships and
>>>> to correct its own mistakes using deduction.
>>>> Scientists are already conducting several experiments to test these
>>>> cognitive abilities. In fact, GPT-4 can be considered almost like a lab
>>>> about language and cognition.
>>>> Giovanni
>>>> On Wed, Apr 26, 2023 at 10:33 PM Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat <
>>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>>> On Wed, Apr 26, 2023 at 9:58 PM Giovanni Santostasi via extropy-chat <
>>>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>>>> It is so ridiculous Gordon, how can it tell you it doesn't understand
>>>>>> if it cannot understand?
>>>>> Understanding is not a binary yes/no thing.  Multiple degrees of
>>>>> understanding, and lack thereof, are possible.  Note that it says it does
>>>>> not "truly" understand.
>>>>> Perhaps it understands enough to know it lacks full understanding.
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> extropy-chat mailing list
>>>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
>>>>> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
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