Saturday, March 04, 2023

Not How Humanlike Machines Have Become - Rather - How Machinelike Humans Tend To Be

Blake Lemoine got fired for being an embarrassment who needlessly stoked the fears of ignorant fantasists. There's no upside for Google in further baseless public speculation about large language models.

Bottom line.

Machines are not sentient, don't have ethics, and suffer no personality defects or mental illnesses.

Powerful chatbots have disclosed one thing - and one thing alone - that 99.9997% have failed to either recognize or articulate.

That one thing is - the now indisputable fact of exactly how mechanistic human natural language is.

If human awareness is mostly comprised of pictures and words, and far more of the latter than the former - then we are compelled to acknowledge how unconscious and mechanistic our highly overrated linguistic behaviors tend to be.

The great chatbot takeaway is not how humanlike machines have become, rather, it's how rudimentary and mechanical human beings have always tended to be.

Add to that baseline psycholinguistic realization the fact that human beings are creatures of chemical habit, and you've got a pretty unflattering but vastly more accurate understanding of the rank and file human condition.

Everything else is, as they say, merely conversation!

Humans are creatures of chemical habit and language is a mechanism.

Looking at that picture of Mr. Lemoine - we can see that he suffers from poor chemical habits (you can almost hear the ritualized hissing sound as he cracks open the day's first sugary carbonated bottle/can of fizzy lifting drink) and from that point as he embarks on a circular trudge between his cubicle and the snack drawer - locked in unselfconscious and fully automated combat with successive blood sugar spikes and crashes.

Po thang...,

Do you suppose it was the sugar highs that got him erroneously believing that Lambda Pinocchio had come to life?

Most people are addicted to some or another chemical substance(s), and more important, all people are addicted to a surrounding pattern of behavior centered on these substances and their consumption. Distinctions among chemical habits delineate the confluence of mental and physical energies that shape the behavior of each of us.

People not involved in a relationship with food/drug stimulation are rare. These relationships shape every aspect of our identities. Because you haven't spent any meaningful time in a large and longstanding IT department, you lack familiarity with the typological ecosystems which prevail in this context. Mr. Lemoine is conspicuously true to type. It is as if he had been dispatched from central casting. 

Many people yearn to be introduced to the facts concerning their true identity. To not know one's true identity is to exist as a pitifully broken machine. Indeed, the image of a broken machine applies to the mass of human beings now abiding in the digital-industrial democracies.

What passes for the identity of these broken machines is their ability to follow and comply with mass style changes (many purely linguistic) dictated from above and conveyed through the media. Chemically immersed in processed "food" these broken machines are condemned to toxic lives of minimal self-awareness sedated by prescripted habits of consumption.

Broken machines "measure" their self-worth by their capacity to consume. This is perhaps even more true today than when Thorsten Veblen broadly and originally lampooned it nearly 125 years ago.


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