[ExI] Ben Goertzel on Large Language Models

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sun Apr 30 12:28:14 UTC 2023

On Sat, Apr 29, 2023 at 5:54 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 29, 2023, 2:36 AM Gordon Swobe <gordon.swobe at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Apr 28, 2023 at 3:46 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> On Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 12:33 AM Gordon Swobe via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> Quite by accident, I happened upon this quote of Erwin Schrodinger this
>>>> evening.
>>>> "Consciousness cannot be explained in physical terms. Because
>>>> consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be explained in any
>>>> other terms."
>>> That is actually what I also hold to be true about consciousness, though
>>>> not necessarily for reasons related to quantum mechanics or eastern
>>>> philosophy. (Schrodinger is said to have been influenced by
>>>> eastern philosophy).
>>> Me too. Its strange then that we disagree regarding AI.
>> Yes, that is interesting. To be clear, I agree with Schrodinger that
>> consciousness cannot be explained in physical terms, but this is not quite
>> the same as saying it is immaterial or non-physical. I mean, and I think he
>> meant, that it cannot be explained in the third-person objective language
>> of physics.
> There is a sense in which I could agree with this. I think physics is the
> wrong language for describing states of consciousness, which is a higher
> order phenomena. I would also say, as I have explained elsewhere, that in a
> certain sense consciousness is also more fundamental than the apparent
> physical reality.
> I take "absolutely fundamental" to mean irreducible.
> Right there are several possible interpretations of what he means by
> fundamental.
> I agree that conscious is irreducible in the sense that looking at ever
> smaller pieces of the brain does not yield better understanding of the
> mind. I would say that consciousness is constructive, not reductive. You
> need to consider all the parts together, and how they build up to a whole,
> rather than how each part operates in isolation.
> Much of science has been successful precisely because it has followed the
> path of reductionism, but I don't think states of consciousness can be
> entirely understood by reductive means. Likewise the same is true for any
> complex enough system that manifests emergent behavior, like a complex
> computer program, or an ecosystem. When there are many unique parts
> interacting in complex ways with each other, the system as a whole cannot
> be understood by a simple analysis of each part. Any true understanding of
> that system must include all the parts working together: the whole.
>   I take "It cannot be explained in other terms" to mean that the
>> experience itself is the only way to understand it.
> I agree with what you say above.
> This is also why I try to stay out of the endless discussions about what
>> are qualia.
>> I cannot explain in the language of physics, or in the language of
>> computation or of functionalism generally, why I see the red quale when I
>> look at an apple. I just do. It is fundamental and irreducible.
> Note that functionalism doesn't aim to make qualia communicable. It is
> just the hypothesis that if you could reproduce the functional organization
> of a consciousness system, you would reproduce the same consciousness as
> that first conscious system.

I don't understand why functionalists only ever seem to talk about
"functional organization".
All 4 of the systems in this image:
have the same "functional organization" as they all know the strawberry is
But the fact that they all have this same functionality is missing the
point of what redness is.
Why do functionalists never talk about redness, but just "functional

> It's a fairly modest idea as far as theories go, because you would obtain
> identical behavior between the two systems. So if the first is David
> Chalmers his functional duplicate would say and do all the same things as
> the original, including stating his love of certain qualia like deep
> purples and greens, and writing books about the mysterious nature of
> consciousness. Could such a thing be a zombie? This is where you and I part
> ways.

To me, the R system in the above image is a zombie, as it can be
functionally isomorphic to the other 3, it can simulate the other 3, but
its knowledge isn't like anything.  Do functionalists think of a zombie as
something different?
Functionalists seem to be saying that a zombie like R isn't possible, and
they seem to be saying aht A and C are the same, because they both know the
strawberry is red.  That is true, but that is missing the point.
"Functional organization" isn't the point, the redness is the point.

Jason, what is redness, to you?  And why do you never talk about that, but
only "functional organization?"

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20230430/4bec5853/attachment.htm>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list