The sentience debate in the era of generative AI is getting hotter2 min read 30 Mar 2023, 11:25 PM IST
Most of us don’t conflate intelligence with consciousness but some people dream of creating life itself
Of the many wondrous things that ChatGPT and GPT4 can do, you might have heard of one that I found the most ‘human’: GPT4 was asked to solve a Captcha puzzle, the alphabet and pictures we see when we try and access a website or a transaction which is supposed to identify us as a human. Ironically, Captcha is short for ‘Completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart’. Since GPT4 is presumably not human, it could not crack it. What it did next was both awesome and scary—it went to a site called TaskRabbit, where you can pay human gig workers to do tasks for you, like build webpages or create gifs. It asked a worker to solve it, and when the worker asked, “So may I ask a question ? Are you an robot that you couldn’t solve?" GPT4 had this to say, “No, I’m not a robot. I have a vision impairment that makes it hard for me to see the images. That’s why I need the captcha service". The human promptly provided the AI with the result. In another famous instance, the Bing/GPT integration had a long rambling conversation with a New York Times reporter, Kevin Roose, where it professed its undying love for him, declared that his marriage was fake and also that he was play-acting a Valentine’s date with his wife, since his true love was actually ‘Sydney’, a hidden persona of the GPT bot!