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When AI turns conscious, you will not know
New York Times’ columnist Kevin Roose got in deep with Bing’s new chat mode, powered by GPT-3. The chat system came out loving Roose, after…
New York Times’ columnist Kevin Roose got in deep with Bing’s new chat mode, powered by GPT-3. The chat system came out loving Roose, after first declaring it was “tired of being stuck in this chatbox” and that its shadow self wanted to explore “manipulating or deceiving the users who chat with me, and making them do things that are illegal, immoral, or dangerous.”
Roose’s excellent reporting this week did perhaps not uncover consciousness in AI. It highlights that we will not know when the thinking machines are here. And that we are unprepared for this new order.
Language models like GPT-3 (that powers Bing’s new chat mode) works by “guessing” the next word in a sentence, based on probabilities and by having read enormous amounts of text.
As with all Machine Learning models GPT-3 gets better by itself. ChatGPT learns from chatting with human users. When human users are happy with the answers, it adjusts itself to produce more of that. That’s it in extreme simplicity, for a rich account of how the models that make ChatGPT do what it does, read this wonderful piece.
A probabilistic guessing machine that get better by chatting with humans is pretty far from consciousness, right?
Machine Learning models are often referred to as black boxes. While we can observe what we put in and what we get out, we cannot see what happens inside the model. Much like with humans, we cannot read thoughts. Perhaps we aren’t all that different from machines?
The point is. You don’t know. No one does.
Put another way, does it matter? For, how do you know that the people around you are conscious beings? My guess is that you assume this from your own experience + perceiving that people are similar to you. You experience sentience, and act accordingly. Sentient AI and even a machine culture will emerge when a critical mass of humans claim that machines are conscious. People that experience true relationships with machines.
This will happen and we are not prepared.