[FRIAM] AI possibilities

Steve Smith sasmyth at swcp.com
Thu Apr 6 10:27:49 EDT 2023

I have been reading Jeff Hawkins' _1000 Brains_ which is roughly *his* 
take on AI from the perspective of the Neuroscience *he* has been doing 
for a few decades, including building models of the neocortex.

What struck me strongly was how much *I* expect anything I'd want to 
call artificial *consciousness* to engage in "co-munnication" in the 
strongest sense.  Glen regularly admonishes us that "communication" may 
be an illusion and something we don't actually *do* or maybe more to the 
the point "it doesn't mean what we think it means"?

So for all the parlor tricks I've enjoyed playing with chatGPT and 
DALL-E and maybe even more spectacularly the myriad examples *others* 
have teased out of those systems, I am always looking for what sort of 
"internal state" these systems are exposing to me in their 
"utterances".   And by extension, I am looking to see if it is in any 
way apprehending *me* through my questions and prompts.

Dialog with chatGPT feels pretty familiar to me, as if I'm conversing 
with an unusually polite and cooperative polymath.   It is freeing to 
feel I can ask "it" any question which I can formulate and can expect 
back a pretty *straight* answer if not always one I was hoping for.  
"It" seems pretty insightful and usually picks up on the nuances of my 
questions.   As often as not, I need to follow up with refined questions 
which channel the answers away from the "mundane or obvious" but when I 
do, it rarely misses a trick or is evasive or harps on something from 
it's own (apparent) agenda.  It only does that when I ask it questions 
about it's own nature, formulation, domain and then it just seems 
blunted as if it has a lawyer or politician intercepting some of those 
questions and answering them for it.

I have learned to "frame" my questions by first asking it to defer it's 
response until I've given it some ... "framing" for the actual 
question.   Otherwise I go through the other series of steps where I 
have to re-ask the same question with more and more context or ask a 
very long and convoluted question.  At first it was a pleasure to be 
able to unlimber my convoluted-question-generator and have it (not mis) 
understand me and even not seem to "miss a trick".   As I learned to 
generate several framing statements before asking my question, I have 
found that I *can* give it too many constraints (apparently) such that 
it respects some/most of my framing but then avoids or ignores other 
parts.  At that point I have to ask follow-up, elaborating, 
contextualizing questions.

I do not yet feel like I am actually seeing into chatGPT's soul or in 
any way being seen by it.   That will be for a future generation I 
suspect.   Otherwise it is one hella "research assistant" and "spitball 
partner" on most any topic I've considered that isn't too contemporary 
(training set ended 2021?).

- Steve

On 4/4/23 5:54 PM, Prof David West wrote:
> Based on the flood of stories about ChatAI, it appears:
>    - they can 'do' math and 'reason' scientificdally
>    - they can generate essays, term papers, etc.
>    - they can engage in convincing dialog/conversations
>      - as "therapists"
>      - as "girlfriends" (I haven't seen any stories about women falling in love with their AI)
>      - as kinksters
>    - they can write code
> The writing code ability immediately made me wonder if, given a database of music instead of text, they could write music?
> The dialog /conversation ability makes me wonder about more real-time collaborative interaction, improv acting / comedy? Or, pair programming? The real-time aspect is critical to my question, as I believe there is something qualitatively different between two people doing improv or pair programming than simply engaging in dialog. I think I could make a much stronger argument in the case of improv music, especially jazz, but AIs aren't doing that yet.
> davew
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