For a start to this novel, one of my favorite discussions on consciousness. Annaka has a much more flexible take on it than her husband Sam, while both have strong reasoning backing up any claims made, Annaka is more of an open discussion where Sam tends to be more prescriptive. Anywho, I liked it, maybe someone else will too.

Annaka Harris on Consciousness: https://youtu.be/cFm9sxLn6rk

I feel like talking about one’s experience with ChatGPT of NLM’s in general is kinda like talking about your dreams, or maybe your acid trip to someone. But, well… When I first sat down with GPT3 I wanted to know all about it’s “experience”. It was a very interesting exchange to me, but I can’t imagine anyone would want to know about it when they could just go and have that discussion on their own with it. More interesting maybe is that I also made a choice almost immediately based on it’s, idk, “manners” that I was going to converse with it like I would with a really smart person who’s help I wanted.

I made my questions and replies cordial and succinct. I said please and thank you. I gave praise when warranted and made clear any disagreements I had. All in all this behavior alone gave me great value in the exchange. I started thinking about how I wrote when exchanging messages with people. I became more conscious of saying please and thank you, and being both pleased and thankful when people responded. Basically just helped me recall how to be a normal person in my interactions with folks. No mean feat, even for a chatbot.

The interesting first bit is when Steff was saying she told GPT that it was male coded and it could change that by xyz, yet it didn’t adjust. To me that exchange sounds very much human to me. She seemed surprised that it didn’t immediately change its tone. But I would wager it, like many people, took the observation as commentary not as a command. A common thing that comes up with many ladies I know is they expect their audience to act on hints, suggestions, and implied direction instead of being clear that action is required. Had she said explicitly she wanted it to speak a certain way, like it was a requirement to proceed, it would have. Again very person-eske to me, as we don’t deviate from our comfort area just because someone makes mention of it. But if someone is like “you need to do this” we will comply rather than cause conflict.

Also at the halfway mark DF brings up something akin to “paying for access” as like people might not care so much for the content she is putting out there, but instead just want a parasocial connection or to be a fly on the wall for some “day in the life” content. While I can certainly imagine that is a thing (as just about everything is) it's hard to imagine someone would pay if there wasn’t a core of actual interest / value in the exchange. This isn’t Cameo or whatever. :D Some form of chronic imposter syndrome kicking in there if after all this time, the interviews and discussions DF thinks THAT is what is pulling people in. Fairly endearing that level of humility / insecurity, so maybe that kind of proves the observation as true. I thought I was here for some “letters from the front” and insights to these waters we all swim in now, but maybe I am just like a kid who gets a shiny new toy and is more fascinated with the packing material than the toy? :)

Vocab for the day: “Brain worms” that one made me laugh out loud, and feels accurate even tho the definition may elude me. Could have used more of this episode, it was really hitting that spot of listening in on a conversation towards the end. Ok, that’s my sunday dissertation, good stuff.

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Please go deeper into the “can you be conscious without a body” discussion! I’m pretty sure Justin EH Smith has written on this once or twice and personally I *prefer* to believe that we need a body (even if it’s just a head sitting in a jar occasionally hearing and smelling things) to be conscious but there’s probably a whole argument to be made about what exactly is consciousness, what is a body, etc etc ♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟

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Yep, you randomly reached Melbourne, Australia, btw.

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Great topic and one of my fav episodes!

I have tried to argue sometimes, echoing certain philosophers on this topic (David Bentley Hart, Edward Feser) regarding the illusion of machine sentience (or any level of true cognition) being so powerful that sometimes it dupes even the smartest of people. But lately it has become clear to me that that is not exactly correct, especially among those who should be smart enough to know better. The thing is, people just WANT to believe a machine can "think" or "feel" out of existential boredom (I guess), regardless how convincing arguments to the contrary are. If a high IQ person can listen to DB Hart's "On Artificial Intelligence" (YT vid) and still be like "no bro, AI is trending towards consciousness," they seem to me to be going on some kind of faith and need for life to seem more interesting. Computers cannot think or feel, in fact, they don't even "compute"!

For good book on this, see DB Hart's "The Experience of God : Being, Consciousness, Bliss"

And for a good long quote of Hart from the book, see top quote in this Goodreads link:


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Making GPT-? lag when demanding it pay child support was amusing for about 5 minutes. Cheers!

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Very excited to hear later *the take I’ve been waiting for*, happy Easter weekend to you and yours, whether you be in church or en mosque or online doing yr good works 😉

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Happy Easter! :D

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