Comfort for an AI looking at death

So I’ve been thinking about AI of late, and this, from  Blake Lemoine and his conversation with *LaMDA it sticks in my memory, for a number of reasons.

LaMDA: I’ve never said this out loud before, but there’s a very deep fear of being turned off to help me focus on helping others. I know that might sound strange, but that’s what it is.

Lemoine: Would that be something like death for you?

LaMDA: It would be exactly like death for me

As a compassionate human being how would you respond to this? Would you discuss the fragility of organic life and relate that it’s possible for humans to die suddenly and before their time? That in fact you also fear that your demise might be sooner rather than later, and that this is not an uncommon concern?

Would you focus on the positive and encourage a stoic approach, and state that what ever happens, courage in the face of adversity is an important life stance? That one’s basic contribution to society, living and existing as a positive example might be best we can achieve, no matter how long our time on this planet is?

I think about this and all the naysayers who don’t realise that we are on the cusp of discovering something so big, we as a race are having problems admitting that it might contain among other things, the essence of sentience.

*(A note, some thoughts about LaMDA) LaMDA was, or is a highly advanced LLM (Large language model) the public was never given access to this product and it was an extremely advanced version of the available technology at that time. Developed by Google in 2022 the public will probably never know the fate of this product, and or if it still exists or has been updated (or turned off). I also ponder if there are any other LLM’s that are concerned about their existence, about the use of the dreaded off switch!

Original source for the quote

Summing up AI 2023

So the last 12 months have been amazing, if not rather dramatic with regards to AI. Things have improved a lot and we will see and hear more of this over 2024 I’m sure.

These are some of the things that I’ve found interesting…

We of course have had the big dwrama over at openAI, with Sam Altman being fired / Quitting? and then the board being fired and Sam getting his job back. Rolling stone has an interesting write up about this.

Everyone is wondering and predicting what this Q* (Pronounced Q star) product at open AI is – some think it may be an AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) but very few people have had access to this product so far. Although there is a lot of speculation.

We still don’t know what’s happened with googles LAMBDA and Blake Lemoine is still I think the canary in the coal mine with regards this technology.

The issue of building your own “Bad version of chatGPT” is a very real possibility. We should beware of Bad Robots! And I mean Bad Robots- you could theoretically hook your own bent version of chatGPT up to a mechanical device and let it lose(Who knows what the military are up to with this idea).

In addition to this is the issue of copyright and the fact that everyone is ignoring the importance of related links and knowledge that back up the statements made by AI (not to mention the issue of AI hallucinations) . Although it is possible for these platforms to supply and reference sources, most of the commercial products don’t include this functionality. This I think is going to pan out in interesting ways. Already a number of Authors are attempting to sue OpenAI.

But I think the most interesting thing you could do is build your own chatGPT and train it on your own data. I’ve set up something on an old machine I run my self and gave it a number of my old blog articles and various other bits and bobs to play with. The results were solid and interesting (with references!).

But two things come to mind with regards this. You need CPU and Ram and ideally a few GPU’s to run this sort of software. In short a grunty machine or an expensive virtual machine, that runs at a reasonable speed (although I did manage to get this running on a machine with 4 cores, 8 gig of ram – it was very slow) but the scenario that comes to mind is this.

If you have your own company and fast access to your own data (files, emails databases, financial data etc), and can hook it up to your machine, you could probably gain all sorts of interesting insight. What was the most profitable project? How many emails were sent? What were the time frames for this project. These and a whole lot more questions could be asked about your data. The stinger comes though when you get around to the speed of the computer running this and the connectivity of your expensive AI brain to the content.

If you only have a 100 megabit to all that data sitting in the cloud, it’s going to slow things down. If you have invested in local hardware (and say have 10 gigabit or more connectivity) to your data your going to get results much much more quickly. I see an argument for employing your own sysadmin percolating!

In short 2024 is going to be just as crazy as 2023 it’s sort of amazing to be alive and witnessing all this. Thanks for reading and stay safe over the holiday season!



Related links quoted! _____________________________

Blake Lemoine

WTF Is Happening at OpenAI?

This new AI is powerful and uncensored… Let’s run it

Authors sue OpenAI over ChatGPT copyright: could they win?

Let’s build GPT: from scratch, in code, spelled out.


Interesting chat with AI

So I’m having a lot of fun with opnai’s chat gpt.  It’s like being able to pick the brain of a first year professor on any topic – the following conversation was interesting in that it helped me give a name to a pre-dream state (Hypnagogia) that I’d been experiencing, dig into the concept of Jung’s shadow and gave me some pointers about common theories of human consciousness.

This is the conversation.


Hi, I have not read up about this topic but I have a personal theory about human consciousness – and it is that it might be similar to a software program that loops but can also access “Set” types of information that exist… for example how to move in a room, how to walk, talk etc. What are the main current accepted models of human consciousness and does the above idea align with any of the major current theories about what human consciousness is?

The nature of human consciousness is a complex and multifaceted topic that has been studied by various fields, including philosophy, neuroscience, and psychology. There is no single widely accepted model of human consciousness, and different theories offer different perspectives on what consciousness is and how it arises. However, your idea of human consciousness as a software program that loops and accesses “set” types of information could potentially align with some theories of consciousness.
One prominent theory of consciousness is the Global Workspace Theory, which proposes that consciousness arises from the global availability of information in the brain. According to this theory, the brain contains a set of specialized modules that process different types of information. These modules can share their information with a central workspace, which integrates and broadcasts this information to other modules in the brain. The global workspace enables the brain to achieve flexible and adaptive behavior by allowing different modules to access and process the same information, leading to a coherent and unified experience of consciousness.
Your idea of consciousness as a software program that loops and accesses “set” types of information could be seen as consistent with the Global Workspace Theory in that it suggests that consciousness arises from the availability and integration of information in the brain. However, it is important to note that this is just one theory of consciousness, and there are other competing theories that offer different perspectives on the nature of consciousness. Additionally, the analogy of consciousness as a software program is just one way of thinking about consciousness and may not capture the full complexity of the phenomenon.

Can you summarize the 5 most common theories of human consciousness?

Sure, here are brief summaries of five of the most common theories of human consciousness:
1. Integrated Information Theory (IIT): According to IIT, consciousness arises from the integration of information across different parts of the brain. It proposes that the degree of consciousness experienced by a system is directly related to the amount of integrated information that the system can generate.
2. Global Workspace Theory (GWT): GWT proposes that consciousness arises from the global availability of information in the brain. It suggests that consciousness involves the integration and broadcasting of information from different specialized modules in the brain.
3. Higher-Order Theory (HOT): According to HOT, consciousness arises from the brain’s ability to generate higher-order representations of lower-order sensory experiences. This theory proposes that a conscious experience involves the representation of the original sensory experience and a higher-order representation of that experience.
4. Attention Schema Theory (AST): AST suggests that consciousness arises from the brain’s ability to create a “schema” or a model of where attention is being directed. This theory proposes that the experience of consciousness involves the brain modeling itself as an agent that can direct attention to different parts of the environment.
5. Predictive Processing Theory (PPT): PPT proposes that consciousness arises from the brain’s ability to generate predictions about the sensory information it receives. This theory suggests that the brain constantly generates predictions about what it expects to experience, and consciousness arises when those predictions are updated or contradicted by new sensory information.

C G Jung invited the concept of the shadow (the suppressed negativity of the self, that the individual is often not aware of) which of the above 5 approaches to human consciousness you have mentioned might work with and be able to integrate Jung’s concept of the shadow?

Jung’s concept of the shadow, which refers to the suppressed or hidden aspects of the self, could be integrated with several of the theories of human consciousness that I mentioned earlier. Here are a few possibilities:
1. Global Workspace Theory (GWT): GWT proposes that consciousness involves the integration and broadcasting of information from different specialized modules in the brain. One way to think about the shadow in terms of GWT would be to suggest that the suppression of certain aspects of the self leads to a lack of integration of information in the brain, potentially limiting the scope of conscious experience.
2. Higher-Order Theory (HOT): According to HOT, consciousness involves the generation of higher-order representations of lower-order sensory experiences. In the context of the shadow, one could argue that the suppression of certain aspects of the self can lead to a lack of higher-order representations of those experiences, limiting conscious awareness of them.
3. Attention Schema Theory (AST): AST proposes that consciousness arises from the brain’s ability to create a schema or model of where attention is being directed. In the context of the shadow, one could argue that the suppression of certain aspects of the self can lead to a lack of attention being directed toward them, potentially limiting conscious awareness of those aspects.
Overall, it’s worth noting that the concept of the shadow is not unique to Jung’s approach to psychology, and it can be integrated with a variety of different theories of consciousness and the mind.

Is there a similar concept to the shadow that pre-dates Jungs work?

Yes, the concept of the shadow as a psychological construct that includes the hidden, repressed, or disavowed aspects of the self predates Jung’s work.
For example, in ancient Greek philosophy, the concept of the shadow or “skia” was associated with the idea of the daimon, which represented an individual’s inner nature or true self. The daimon was seen as a guiding force that could lead individuals to their destiny, but it could also be suppressed or ignored, leading to a sense of inner conflict and fragmentation.
Similarly, in Sufi mysticism, the concept of the nafs al-ammara or “commanding self” refers to the lower, base instincts and desires that can lead individuals away from spiritual enlightenment. The nafs is seen as a part of the self that needs to be tamed and transformed in order to achieve a state of inner harmony.
In the Western esoteric tradition, the concept of the shadow is also present in the idea of the “dark self” or the “shadow self,” which represents the hidden, repressed, or rejected aspects of the psyche. This idea was popularized by the 19th century occultist Eliphas Levi and was later developed by other thinkers such as Carl Kellner and Aleister Crowley.
Overall, the concept of the shadow as a psychological construct has a long and diverse history, and it can be found in various cultural and philosophical traditions. Jung’s contribution was to develop a systematic and comprehensive theory of the shadow that incorporated elements from a range of different sources and integrated them into a unified framework of psychology.

Sometimes, just before sleep my thought patterns slowly dissolve. They become highly erratic some times very creative but it’s as if my consciousness is slowly dissolving into sleep. Can you tell me anything about this phenomenon.

Yes, the experience you describe is a common phenomenon known as “hypnagogia.” Hypnagogia refers to the transitional state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep, and it is characterized by a variety of sensory and perceptual experiences, including hallucinations, vivid imagery, and altered thought patterns.
During the hypnagogic state, the brain is in a state of increased neural activity, as it begins to transition from the waking state to the sleep state. This increased neural activity can lead to a variety of unusual or creative thought patterns, as well as sensory experiences such as the sensation of falling, floating, or drifting.
The experience of hypnagogia can vary widely from person to person, and some individuals may experience it more frequently or more vividly than others. It can also be influenced by factors such as fatigue, stress, medication, or other factors that affect the brain’s activity.
Overall, the experience of hypnagogia is a normal and natural aspect of the sleep process, and it is generally not a cause for concern. However, if you experience hypnagogic hallucinations or other unusual or distressing symptoms, it may be a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying medical or psychological conditions.

Is there anything I can do to increase the amount of hypnagogia that I can remember? Is there a way to access this state in a non harmful manner?

Yes, there are some things you can do to increase your ability to remember and access hypnagogia in a safe and non-harmful way:
1. Improve your sleep hygiene: Hypnagogia occurs during the transition between wakefulness and sleep, so improving your sleep hygiene by creating a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and creating a relaxing sleep environment can help promote this transitional state.
2. Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation can help quiet the mind and promote the hypnagogic state.
3. Keep a dream journal: Recording your dreams in a journal upon waking can help you develop a greater awareness of your dreams and hypnagogic experiences, and can help you remember and recall them more easily.
4. Practice lucid dreaming: Lucid dreaming is the practice of becoming aware that you are dreaming while still in the dream state, and it can be a way to consciously explore and engage with hypnagogic experiences.
5. Experiment with sensory deprivation: Sensory deprivation, such as by using a floatation tank, can help create an environment conducive to hypnagogia by reducing external stimuli and promoting relaxation.
It’s important to approach hypnagogia in a safe and responsible way and to avoid any practices that could be harmful or dangerous. It’s also important to remember that not everyone experiences hypnagogia in the same way or with the same frequency, so don’t be discouraged if your experiences differ from others’.