Talking with chatGPT. A Philosophical Encounter …


eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 14.January 2023 – 15.January 2023
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

This is a special thought experiment as part of the uffmm.org blog.

INTRODUCTION

Since its recent ‘coming out’ (November 2022) the chatbot chatGPT from openai.com has gained a growing public attention: Posts in blogs, Journals, newspapers, TV … Even I noticed this new presence.

The one way to understand it is ‘looking behind the scene’, looking ‘into the system’, which is in principle possible. But because the direct inspection of the human brain would you tell nearly nothing about its fantastic properties (even not in the light of the interpretation of the brain sciences) and as well, looking into the ‘chips of computer hardware’ would you tell too nearly nothing about what a computer-system is able to do, so it will in a first step be of no great help, to fill many pages with the algorithms of chatGPT. As such an isolated algorithms doesn’t tell too much, and a whole network of such algorithms doesn’t either.

What perhaps can be interesting is a ‘comparison’ between our human behavior (and understanding) with the behavior of chatGPT and some ‘implicit meaning’ embedded in this behavior.

Thus curious about what this chatGBT is I logged into the system and started interacting with the chatGBT software in the offered ‘playground’. The first two chats have been a little bit like ‘swaying back and forth’, my next two chats have become quite interesting.

After this experience I decided to document these chats in this blog in a 1-to-1 fashion thus enabling further reflections about them later. [3] Rather quickly one can learn that this adventure has many different dimensions from ‘simply being impressed’ until ‘deep philosophical thinking’.

OK, let’s start with doing it.

The 8000-signs embracing chat No.4 ends up with the following paragraph:

Human: OK, this all sums up to the conclusion that human rationality is composed of emotions, spiritual experience as well as conscious as well as unconscious cognitive processes. Do I miss something important?

Machine (citing human documents): No, you have accurately summed up the components of human rationality. Additionally, human rationality is also composed of social and cultural influences, which can shape and inform our understanding of the world and our decisions. Additionally, human rationality is often impacted by our values and beliefs, which can provide a moral foundation for our behavior and decision making. Finally, human rationality is also impacted by our environment, which can provide a source of information and insight.

For more coments see:

COMMENT

wkp := wikipedia

[1] wkp en: chatGPT, URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ChatGPT, is a chatbot with the technology of a ‘Generative Pre-trained Transformer’. See more there.

[2] wkp en: chatbot, URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatbot, is a software which is able to interact in the format of a dialogue (which tells nothing and all …)

[3] During the first two chats I didn’t save the dialogues. This I started beginning with chat No.3

OKSIMO.R – Start . What to assume for a minimal scenario?


eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 6.January 2023 – 6.January 2023, 09:48 a.m.
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

Parts of this text have been translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version), afterwards only minimally edited.

CONTEXT

This post is part of the book project ‘oksimo.R Editor and Simulator for Theories’.

What to assume for a minimal scenario?

FIGURE 1: Elements for a minimal scenario. Different ‘actors’ are in a common real environment. They have a ‘sensory perception’ of this environment. They can change parts of their body surface in such a way that ‘movements’ arise. Each actor has ’emotions’ and has ‘images in his head’. They have a ‘common language’.

If you want to play a ‘game’ together, then you usually need a ‘starting position’ with which you begin. In addition different ‘materials’, which are in the starting position or which one can ‘bring in’ or ‘take out’. You need ‘players’ who share this situation. One needs a ‘language’ to be able to communicate. One needs ‘rules of the game’ (= pictures in the head), which are to be ‘considered’ while playing. One needs to be able to perform different ‘game actions’ (= movements), and one experiences in the game that every fellow player shows very different emotions that influence him when acting.

In real everyday life this is not different. One can perhaps say that ‘games’ represent idealized everyday situations’; in principle, everything is there, only simpler, rather complete.

In real everyday life, in principle, almost everything can change at any time. Sometimes in the short term, sometimes in the long term. Actors can come and go, get sick or old. The weather goes crazy; there are seasons. Houses, roads and bridges are built or torn down. Plants grow and disappear. People rejoice, laugh, get sad, cry, scream, go crazy.

Without the ‘sensual perception’ we human actors would know nothing of the ‘world out there’, of the ‘body world’ in which we find our own body. People who are blind, or deaf, who have no tactile sensations, who cannot smell … for them the world is dim, distant, always little tangible.

Whatever we perceive, all kinds of ’emotions’ constantly exist within us; a vast spectrum of different ‘states of excitement’ that ‘fill’ us, that we perceive as rather ‘pleasant’ or ‘unpleasant’; they come and go without our being able to control them completely. And yet they seem to follow fixed laws …

The human body with its different body parts, but also its surface, allows changes in the form of movements. These partly have an effect on the own body, on the own sensory perception, but partly these movements also cause changes in the environment, leave traces on the body of another human actor. Over the years, children complete a huge movement program, which does not stop in adulthood, which does not have to stop.

Children learn to ‘speak’ very early, just like that, alone, but then increasingly also in community. This speaking differentiates itself more and more in the course of the years in vocabulary, expression, emphasis, situation reference …

One and the same situation different people often describe it very differently! One sees the fruit, the other the flowers, still another the car, the wall, other people, insects …. This indicates that we do not keep the surrounding world 1-to-1 in us, but only parts of it, depending on current ‘interests’. The ‘world inside us’ is therefore usually only a ‘fragment’ of the real world around us, a world that has been ‘simplified’, which we can partially ‘remember’ again mostly, not always. And we also know that ‘memories’ can change ‘in us’. The ‘remembered world’ can thus have an ‘existence of its own’ at some point: The ‘pictures in our head’ are real for us, they represent ‘the world’ for us, and we don’t necessarily realize that these ‘pictures in our head’ don’t ‘represent’ the real world….

So it is possible – and perhaps even the ‘normal case’ – that people carry around ‘images in their heads’ that are more or less ‘false’; that are additionally linked to different ’emotions’ that may be ‘misleading’; that we use ‘ways of talking’ that make the whole thing to appear to be ‘true’, which can lead to ‘actions’ that are guided by these unrealistic presuppositions.”[1]

These considerations draw the picture of a – strongly simplified – minimal scenario, however only the ‘surface’. As one can already see in a hint, behind the ‘surface phenomena’ there is an ‘inner world’ in the human actors; of course also in the – so far not mentioned – other ‘biological actors’, which populate this planet with us. Yes, even in the ‘a-biological’ material of our everyday life: stones, metals, plastics, dead wood, … there is an ‘inner life’.

A direct continuation can be found HERE.

COMMENTS

[1] I run out into the waterless mudflats and am suddenly surprised by the receding water. I don’t make it to the beach. Or: I urgently have to go to a meeting and rush to my bicycle, but it’s not there because a friend has just ‘borrowed’ it. Or: We eat in a restaurant in a good mood, and the night brings nausea and vomiting to many; the food was spoiled. Or: I dream of a lot of money, get involved with a financial advisor, give him money, and the whole project turns out to be a ‘junk project’. Or: I cultivate my field, use a certain seed. The plants start growing, and then there are numerous storms that leave little of the plants usable. Or: Someone else tells me a story about evil people who want to rule the world (he says he read it), and because of that he now has to fight his own government. …. Everyone knows long lists of such experiences.