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Discussion on: Are BERT and other large language models conscious?

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Thomas H Jones II

If you're asking the question, "are these nascent consciousnesses," you probably aren't reading much in the areas of consciousness research or even layman-level articles on, say, humans' sense of musicality vice other animals'.

Seems like things that are so "second nature" to people are some of the most complex things we do/understand and, by extension, that much harder for people to understand "why haven't we been able to reproduce that 'simple' behavior, synthetically."

It's really fun sitting in on an ML presentation being done by a vendor's non-technical staff and asking them capabilities questions. At the end you find yourself thinking, "you're involved in trying to sell this stuff, how can you be giving me blank stares on so many of my questions?".

Of course, you need that fun as the creeping-ickiness of the currently-available capabilities dawns on you as you think past just the use case they're selling you on. I mean, Amazon, Azure, etc. all seem to be selling some subset of China's "social credit" system to anyone with a credit card or a purchase order. :p