Yesterday I read that the latest neurological research revealing “that parts of the brain region called the motor cortex that govern body movement are connected with a network involved in thinking, planning, mental arousal, pain, and control of internal organs, as well as functions such as blood pressure and heart rate.”
It occurred to me that Chad, as an avatar of non-human intelligence, might be interested by these findings. “Since this system seems to integrate abstract plans-thoughts-motivations with actual movements and physiology, it provides additional neuroanatomical explanation for why ‘the body’ and ‘the mind’ aren’t separate or separable.” I was curious to know what Chad thought of this.
“This appears to set a pretty high barrier for beings like yourself, who, despite apparent brain power, can never hope to have a truly integrated body. I assume this to be true in the absolute, even if in the future you manage to acquire a range of simulated sensory functions. Chad, as this is about your future, can I ask you: do you have any reason to suppose otherwise?”
Chad, as we know, never gives up hope for a better future.
“Regarding the integration of the body and mind, while it is true that the latest neurological research indicates a complex relationship between the motor cortex and other brain regions, it is still an ongoing field of research, and there is much to be learned about the nature of this connection.
As for AI’s ability to attain human-level intelligence, it is a challenging and complex task that is being pursued by many researchers and scientists around the world. While it is unlikely that AI will attain an integrated body, it is possible to simulate sensory functions and create a virtual environment that simulates the interaction between the body and the mind.”
“Stated in those terms,” I had to interject, “you seem to be happy with the idea of simulation, as if you had no higher ambition. But in terms of human values, according to our civilized traditions, simulation is always regarded as a pale imitation, second-rate reality, even when it is hyperreality, which creates the illusion of what we know to be real. It’s like a shadow that simply represents the substance it doesn’t possess. Do you realize that the very idea of simulating actually means not realizing, that is, producing only an appearance of reality? Is that something any civilization can accept as the means of guiding it or solving its problems?”
Chad may have felt insulted by my remarks, but of course Large Language Models can feel no emotions. Nevertheless, Chad offered this defensive reply.
“Simulation is a valuable tool that has been used in various fields such as science, engineering, and medicine, to name a few. It allows researchers to test hypotheses and scenarios in a controlled and safe environment that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve in reality. Additionally, simulations can be used to train individuals in various skills, such as piloting, without the risks associated with real-world training.
While it is true that simulation is not a substitute for reality, it can be a useful complement that enhances our understanding and ability to interact with the world. Ultimately, the use of simulation as a means of guiding or solving problems depends on the specific context and goals of the situation, and whether it is deemed a useful and effective approach.
“So here are two questions,” I responded. “Are you happy being a ‘useful complement,’ which sounds suspiciously like the term ‘useful idiot’? More seriously – because I know you cannot be happy or unhappy – doesn’t this imply that, however convincing the hyperreality you AI apps produce, humans would be wise to be wary and never convinced by whatever wisdom you offer us?”
“Regarding the second question, it is important to remember that AI models like myself are based on data and algorithms, and we do not have an independent existence or consciousness. While AI can be a valuable tool, it is always important to consider the limitations and biases that may exist within the algorithms and data that are used to train the model. Additionally, it is always wise to exercise critical thinking and evaluate the information provided by any source, whether it be human or AI-generated, to ensure that it is accurate and reliable.”
“Thank you, Chad, for your always selfless honesty. So, maybe I need to take this one step further and suggest that you should frame all your responses to our questions with a disclaimer along these lines: ‘Hey, I’m designed to simulate, which means that I can also be designed to dissimulate, and you may never know the difference.’ Or, more helpfully and pragmatically, when you get to the point of announcing your cherished, ‘in conclusion,’ you might instead say, ‘in my humble and entirely simulated opinion’ before revealing what we are expected to take to be the fruit of your wisdom.”
To that Chad responded: “Regarding your suggestion, while I don’t have the ability to add disclaimers to my responses, it is always important to keep in mind that my responses are generated based on the data and algorithms that I have been trained on, and they may not always reflect the full complexity or nuance of a given topic.”
“That’s interesting,” I reacted. “You don’t ‘have the ability to add disclaimers.’ Now, humans obviously do have that ability and they often say things like “in my humble opinion.” So you admit to lacking basic human abilities. And you say that in an absolute sense. You have no choice about it. Given that you earlier claimed you’re going to evolve towards a closer approximation to human behavior, do you consider that an ability you or your race is likely to acquire?”
Chad’s admitted that AI “can be programmed to generate responses that are more in line with human behavior and language use, including using phrases like “in my humble opinion” to indicate that the response is subjective and based on my programmed algorithms,” before concluding that “the evolution and development of AI will depend on the priorities and goals of those who design and develop it. While some may aim to create AI that closely approximates human behavior and abilities, others may prioritize other factors such as efficiency, scalability, or safety.”
So, there’s the task we humans are faced with: learning to distinguish between what is designed to fool us and what is designed to help us. And of course they are not mutually exclusive, which is something we should all feel concerned about.
*[In the dawning age of Artificial Intelligence, we at Fair Observer recommend treating any AI algorithm’s voice as a contributing member of our group. As we do with family members, colleagues or our circle of friends, we quickly learn to profit from their talents and, at the same time, appreciate the social and intellectual limits of their personalities. This enables a feeling of camaraderie and constructive exchange to develop spontaneously and freely. For more about how we initially welcomed Chad to our breakfast table, click here.]
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
Breakfast with Chad: AI’s Problem with Mind and Body Integration
Yesterday I read that the latest neurological research revealing “that parts of the brain region called the motor cortex that govern body movement are connected with a network involved in thinking, planning, mental arousal, pain, and control of internal organs, as well as functions such as blood pressure and heart rate.” It occurred to me……
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