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ekdaemon t1_j86r593 wrote

> It was impossible to predict from understanding matrix multiplication, transformers, self-attention, and relus that at a certain scale that capability would emerge.

But we know that at some scale, it must emerge. Because we exist, and our minds obey the same laws of mathematics and physics that are being used to construct AI.

I think the thing is, we didn't expect it to emerge at the current scale.

Does that mean bio-minds are orders of magnitude less efficient than the artificial constructs we ourselves are creating?


jamesj t1_j86vz1o wrote

It wasn't at all clear that it must emerge with transformer based llms to people working in the field a year ago.


ekdaemon t1_j8kqoz5 wrote


IANE, but I assumed that the combination of the four things mentioned above, including matrix multiplication - would be turing complete - and I thought that anything that is turing complete could absolutely be expected to scale to produce anything desired.

I almost half expected to find that matrix multiplication alone was already known to be turing complete. I see at least one reference to that possibility in a discussion on ycombinator.


jamesj t1_j8kwink wrote

It has long been known that neural nets are universal function approximators, even a single layer can approximate any function with enough data/parameters. But in practice there is a huge gap between knowing that eventually it will approximate some function and actually getting a particular system to converge on the useful function given a set of data in a reasonable amount of time (or for a reasonable enough cost).


__ingeniare__ t1_j872ifz wrote

No we don't/didn't, artificial neural networks are very different from biological ones, and the transformer architecture has nothing to do with the brain.


yickth t1_j87w4vf wrote

Brains employ universal computation, as computers. What’s the difference?


__ingeniare__ t1_j880eru wrote

The difference is the computing architecture. Obviously you can't just scale any computing system and have theory of mind appear as an emergent property, the computations need to have a pattern that allows it.


yickth t1_j89fjnu wrote

Incorrect about scaling computers, which is what computers do — scale. They are universal. As for consciousness, we’re not sure it’s not embedded in everything (panpsychism). I accept this may not be accepted, and perhaps impossible to prove, at least in our lifetimes, but brains are computers, and as such, are scaleable


__ingeniare__ t1_j8b8y1b wrote

I said that you can't have theory of mind appear from scaling just any compute system, not that you can't scale it.


yickth t1_j8bx0py wrote

Why not? I’m not trying to be argumentative, rather I’m genuinely curious why this is impossible


__ingeniare__ t1_j8c0bbz wrote

Let's say you have a computer that simply adds two large numbers. You can scale it indefinitely to add even larger numbers, but it will never do anything interesting beyond that because it's not a complex system. Computation in itself does not necessarily lead to emergent properties, it is the structure of the information processing that dictates this.


yickth t1_j8c2aba wrote

Ah, but computation is scaleable, universally. No other system is. Our minds emerged from computation. And thank you for your thoughtful response


__ingeniare__ t1_j8c4z0x wrote

I think we have different definitions of scalable then. Our minds emerged from computation under the evolutionary pressure to form certain information processing patterns, so it isn't just any computation. Just so I understand you correctly, are you claiming an arbitrary computational system would inevitably lead to theory of mind and other emergent properties by simply scaling it (in other words, adding more compute units like neurons or transistors)?


yickth t1_j8hexi1 wrote

No, I’m not claiming X will lead to Y; I’m claiming it isn’t impossible. Also, we aren’t sure what consciousness is or where it’s located outside our own understanding, so how and if it arose is a mystery


efvie t1_j86up5z wrote

It 100% has not emerged.


jamesj t1_j86w35y wrote

Did you read the paper? If yes, what do you think explains the results of the paper? If no, no reason to respond.