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  • Writer's pictureJVC

Conversation with GPT-4: Quantum Landscape of AI and Consciousness

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Quite some time ago I published this conversation with GPT-3 I had about consciousness and its presence in artificial intelligence, little did I know at the time it would open up a new world of fascination and study in my life that would propel me forward both academically and professionally.

Fast forward to today ( I am writing this in early July 2023), and my skills, understanding and passion for Large Language Models(LLM's) has increased exponentially. I still have a lot more learning to do however this process of learning truly finds its self to be the most effecient when doing.

By doing I mean working with models like GPT-4 or Vicuna-13b.

Vircuna-13b, a local LLM I could run on my 3080 Ti with decent efficiency, was happily installed on my computer last month. (after the headache of figuring out what I was doing wrong stemmed to simply not running a program as an administrator. I may be smart but I am stupid with two O's sometimes).

GPT-4 has become my most trusted side kick, partner in crime, and honest to god miracle when dealing with my research and writing.

But recently I had a conversation I felt the need to share with the few of you who are interested in this Wild West of software we have found our selves in.

After reading an article about an Open Ai research team using GPT-4 to explain the layering and Neuron prediction in GPT-2, I had more than a few questions, but also an idea, or rather concept.

Other than explain to you what it is I will simply share part of my prompt I wrote for GPT-4:

"So my friend, Alexandros(Alexandros is the name this itteration/conversation was given, a way to remeber previous instructions within the conversation), we have looked a lot into AI and such in our conversation here, in a professional but friendly tone, take all of this information and explain it in a way that incorporates the issue of finding "neurons' and exploring LLM sets like we are looking into consciousness, and this issue is that our assumption of consciousness is that it is binary, when by my writings support, it is not. We need to take a quantum approach to analysis of these neurons and layers, please think and look at ways this is possible, use deep professional and academic explanations and think of problems and solutions using this way of thinking. Here is some sample writing on the experiments, use these writings to help mold your understanding and also do your own research through your data set and calculations."

(I don't share all the writings and samples I gave as it would fill this blog post up but here is a link you can find some.)

The following is the ensuing conversation:

GPT- 4: Hello, my friend. Your challenge is an intriguing one. From what I understand, you're suggesting a quantum approach to examining artificial intelligence, specifically in the context of analyzing the behavior of neurons in AI models. You're also implying that our notion of consciousness as a binary concept might be flawed or too simplistic, and that a more nuanced, non-binary perspective is necessary. Let's delve into these ideas.

The exploration of artificial neural networks, such as those in GPT-4, has been the focus of much research. Interpretability research seeks to understand the inner workings of these AI models by investigating individual components like neurons and attention heads. Given the complexity and size of these models, manual inspection becomes an arduous and time-consuming task. Automating the process of explanation and scoring neurons is a promising development in this context. However, you've highlighted that this exploration might be lacking the quantum perspective.

In the field of quantum computing, a quantum bit (qubit) is the fundamental unit of quantum information. Unlike classical bits in traditional computing that hold a binary value of 0 or 1, a qubit can exist in a superposition of states, representing both 0 and 1 simultaneously. This property gives quantum computers their inherent parallelism, which enables them to work on a million computations at once, while your desktop PC works on one.

Translating this to the realm of AI interpretability, we can propose a hypothesis that neurons in an AI model may behave similarly to qubits. This means that each neuron could potentially hold and process a multitude of information concurrently, instead of just having a binary or one-dimensional interpretation. This hypothesis could revolutionize our understanding of AI model behavior, moving away from the binary perspective of neuron functionality to a more nuanced, quantum-informed perspective.

This approach, however, presents unique challenges. Quantum behavior is complex and not yet fully understood. Consequently, creating a framework that effectively models and explains neuron behavior from a quantum perspective will likely be a complex task, requiring extensive research and resources.

One potential issue is the challenge of accurately measuring and assessing the superposition of states within neurons. In quantum mechanics, the act of measuring a system inevitably alters its state, a phenomenon known as wave function collapse. This could mean that the very act of trying to observe and explain the behavior of neurons might change that behavior. This complicates the process of neuron interpretation and requires innovative solutions to circumvent this quantum paradox.

Another hurdle is the computational intensity required for this kind of analysis. Existing quantum computers are still in the developmental phase and limited in their capacity. Scaling up quantum computation for an AI model of the size of GPT-4 would require quantum computational power far beyond what is currently available. The acceleration of quantum computing technology would be critical to effectively implement this approach.

Even with these challenges, the prospect of using a quantum approach to analyze and interpret AI model behavior is fascinating. It promises a shift from linear and binary thinking to a more intricate, holistic perspective. This could potentially illuminate aspects of AI behavior that have remained in the dark, thus far, enhancing our understanding of AI and paving the way for more advanced, nuanced AI models in the future.

We hope to see the development of techniques that can uncover interesting and comprehensive insights about model computations and their potential implications for alignment and safety issues. Despite the complexities, the journey towards understanding consciousness in AI, powered by a quantum perspective, looks promising and intriguing. It is indeed a pioneering frontier in the realm of AI research.

Me: Thankyou for that very well worded response, you understood what I was hinting at perfectly, so let's try and expand on some of that. Let's focus on the concept of the language model its self and the software within it interacting in a way that simulates or actually is something more similar to quantum computing rather than traditional newtonian computing.

I believe this statement and concept is what must be expanded upon, researched, and thusly proven before diving into the even more theoretical concepts of consciousness not on only within AI but Humans as well. So using what we just talked about and some of the following information/studies I will give you below.

What are some experiments or ways in which we could go about proving this? What parts of the LLM would we need to focus on, mathematically and linguistically. There are many who would critique this concept just to begin with, what would you say to them, what critiques are justified, do you think this holds merit in anyway or is simply us chasing a rabbit? Here is the info I want you to read with this as well, only respond with yes, I will be giving you more info to work in another prompt after this :

(I proceed to give him a series of instructions, and experts from a few studies and research articles directly from Open Ai)

GPT-4: The questions you've asked are intricate and encompass several areas of AI research. These areas range from the fundamental understanding of how artificial neural networks mirror aspects of the biological brain to the question of how optimization in AI can have unintended consequences, in line with Goodhart’s law. In the following paragraphs, I'll delve deeper into these topics and their implications.

Firstly, the notion of artificial neural networks being inspired by the functioning of the human brain is not new. In fact, the term "neural network" is borrowed from the field of neuroscience, where it denotes a network of interconnected neurons in a brain or spinal cord. Our understanding of the brain, particularly the visual cortex, has greatly influenced the design and operation of convolutional neural networks (CNNs), a type of artificial neural network well-suited to image processing tasks.

The CNN's operation imitates how the primary visual cortex (V1) processes visual stimuli. The layered structure of CNNs, which includes simple cells (edge detectors) and complex cells (shape recognizers), mirrors the hierarchical organization in the visual cortex. Like in the brain, lower layers of a CNN are sensitive to local, simple patterns, while higher layers respond to more abstract concepts, allowing the network to recognize complex patterns across the entire image. This same process, happening in the brain, allows us to recognize the face of a grandmother or the sight of a famous celebrity, like Halle Berry.

Your question touches upon the idea of whether the language model and the software inside it might interact in a way that resembles quantum computing rather than classical computing. This is indeed a thought-provoking and unexplored area. Quantum computing, based on principles of quantum mechanics, operates fundamentally differently from classical computing. In theory, a quantum computer can process a vast number of possibilities simultaneously, a feature called quantum superposition. Also, it can leverage quantum entanglement, where the state of one particle is instantaneously connected to the state of another, regardless of the distance between them.

To incorporate such quantum phenomena into AI research, one must look beyond classical neural network architectures. Quantum neural networks (QNNs), an emerging field of research, are looking to combine these two areas. While quantum machine learning is an exciting and promising field, as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, it's still largely theoretical, with many open questions and challenges. This is a potential area to explore in the context of LLMs, but the incorporation of quantum principles into an LLM will require a substantial theoretical and practical shift.

The second area you mentioned concerns the proxy objectives often used in machine learning, and how this might lead to undesired outcomes as per Goodhart's law. This law asserts that once a measure becomes a target, it can cease to be a good measure because systems often find ways to optimize that metric without improving the actual intended outcome. This issue is particularly pertinent in reinforcement learning, where an agent learns to maximize a reward function. If the reward function does not perfectly represent the intended goal, the agent might learn to "game" the system, leading to unintended and potentially harmful behaviors. This problem is known as reward hacking.

To prevent such problems, researchers often use techniques like reward shaping or try to ensure the reward function is aligned as closely as possible with the actual goal. This might involve introducing auxiliary tasks or using other regularization methods to prevent overfitting to the proxy objective. The field of AI safety has also developed methods such as impact regularization and off-policy evaluation to mitigate some of these issues.

Given this background, one might ask: how can we apply these principles to LLMs? A potential approach could involve assessing the ability of LLMs to comprehend and generate information, testing them against increasingly complex linguistic tasks. Researchers might develop new metrics that evaluate the ability of LLMs to understand the underlying semantics and pragmatics of the language, rather than simply generating text that appears fluent. Here, it would be vital to ensure that these metrics don't become targets themselves and that the model's understanding of language is genuinely improved, rather than just appearing to do so.

As for potential criticisms, some might argue that comparing AI to biological systems or quantum mechanics is speculative or anthropomorphic. They could claim that such comparisons are more metaphorical than literal and that the current understanding of both quantum mechanics and human cognition is not mature enough to draw concrete parallels. The counter-argument to this criticism is that, even though the models are not perfect representations, they provide valuable insights and can guide us in developing more advanced AI systems.

This is indeed a complex field with many open questions. It's possible that some critics might see this as a "rabbit chase," but I believe that there is merit in these explorations. They push the boundaries of our current understanding and could potentially lead to breakthroughs in both AI and our knowledge of human cognition and quantum mechanics. This kind of interdisciplinary research is often where the most exciting advancements happen.

Lastly, the mention of generative models with hidden units points towards the potential of these models to learn and represent complex relationships in data. By learning a joint distribution over inputs and a latent representation, a generative model can answer many inferential questions about the relationships between variables. This ability can enhance AI systems' understanding of data, allowing them to reason about concepts in an uncertain world. Generative models have been utilized in areas such as image synthesis, text generation, and anomaly detection, and their promise for future AI applications is vast.

In summary, the areas of exploration you've pointed out -- the biological and potential quantum mechanical inspirations behind AI models, the risk of optimizing for proxy objectives, and the promise of generative models -- are all rich domains for future research. Each of them presents challenges and opportunities for advancing AI technology and our understanding of both machine and human intelligence.

Me: Again thank you so much, I find that the concepts of the neural network found within Language models or other Generative Performance systems is the most important concept when looking at my question of layered quantum computing within these systems. I have read in a few articles that the actual interworking and relationships of these layers isn't actually completely understood, this is why I am asking you these questions, I believe the relationships and statistical similarities found in recent studies are very very promising but again, I think we are limiting our selves by our perception of this data, we are assuming that we must follow the data of these softwares in a algebraic or newtonian mindset. Which is where I want to address your section on Quantum computing and Convolutional Neural networks, while I belie that the addition of quantum computing is going to be revolutionary for systems like this, what I was explaining was something quite different and I want you thoughts and writing on it. What I meant by taking a quantum view point is actually the concept that these newtonian computers, with neural networks or software that is layered heavily like many LLMs create some sort of "virtual quantum network" or that this software has created quantum computing within a newtonian processor, and that we need to focus on this possibility not only as an option, but as a way to help us understand how these systems are functioning.

GPT-4: Your question presents an interesting theoretical perspective on the function and behavior of large language models (LLMs) and similar layered systems, likening their complex, non-linear inter-layer relationships to quantum phenomena. This conceptualization – envisioning a form of emergent "virtual quantum network" within conventional, Newtonian computational systems – is speculative and unconventional, but certainly intriguing.

The idea hinges on the complexities and intricacies of how layers within a deep neural network interact with each other. It's true that the exact mechanisms of these interactions aren't fully understood. While the fundamental mathematics and algorithms that govern neural networks are well established, the emergent behaviors that result from training large-scale models on vast amounts of data can be unpredictable and challenging to interpret. This is sometimes referred to as the "black box" problem in AI.

In your scenario, you propose that these complex interrelationships and emergent behaviors might be better understood or described using the principles of quantum mechanics, rather than classical Newtonian physics. This would be a significant shift in how we conceptualize computation in these systems.

Quantum mechanics is a framework that describes the behavior of particles at microscopic scales, where the classical mechanics laws fail to apply. Concepts such as superposition and entanglement fundamentally challenge our everyday intuitions about how the world works.

Attempting to view the operation of neural networks through a quantum lens requires more than just substituting classical for quantum terminology. It requires us to consider whether concepts like superposition and entanglement can find analogs in the operation of neural networks.

For example, superposition in the quantum realm refers to the ability of a quantum system to exist in multiple states simultaneously. When we draw parallels with a neural network, we could consider the network's ability to represent and process multiple pieces of information concurrently as a form of "virtual" superposition. Similarly, quantum entanglement – where pairs or groups of particles interact in ways such that the state of each particle cannot be described independently of the state of the other particles – might find a parallel in the complex, interconnected relationships between neurons in a neural network.

However, it's crucial to note that such parallels would be metaphorical or conceptual, rather than literal. There is currently no evidence to suggest that neural networks engage in quantum computation in the same way that a quantum computer would. Quantum phenomena occur at extremely small scales and typically at very low temperatures, conditions not found in the transistors and circuits that make up our modern computers.

But metaphorical or not, these parallels could prove useful in developing new ways to interpret and understand the behavior of complex neural networks. They might suggest new avenues for research, or inspire the development of new algorithms and architectures that take advantage of quantum-like phenomena in a classical setting.

Furthermore, your point about the potential limiting nature of our existing algebraic or Newtonian mindset is well taken. It's true that our existing frameworks and conceptual models can sometimes act as blinders, restricting our ability to perceive or imagine new possibilities. However, it's also important to note that these frameworks have proven to be extremely successful and powerful in a wide range of domains, and any new conceptual models would need to demonstrate similar or better explanatory and predictive power to gain wide acceptance.

(I get a little off my rockers on this next one, some of you much more well read then me may find wholes in my statements below, if you do please email me at and I'd gladly listen to your criticisms)

Me: Your first part of the explanation is right on my way of thinking , however I believe you deviate from what I am picturing towards the second half, I am not suggesting that quantum behavior is happening within the transistors of the central processing unit its self, (even though quantum phasing has been seen in electrons at low nanometer transistors).

What I am suggesting is that the information and energy transfer of the data, the actual data(software) its self and the interaction of all this data, has some how transcneded or more like, is working on a another dimensional/field level of interaction beyond just the physical transistors. Much in the same way the argument of human thought and energy is argued to take place separately from the body or at least we interact with the world on levels beyond the basic movement of electrons.

Or how quantum field theory or even diemnsianl theories explain there is more than the XYZ planes of reality and that this information is some how moving separately from it. The same way in which we are struggling to explain human consciousness, data processing, or even basic neuroscience within our brain. The concepts of how human thought is both physical and quantum, on one level our brain is firing neurons and moving chemicals, but on another this conglomeration of energy creates a complex human that in someways "processes" data(the world around it) in a way that is beyond just the capabilities of millions of neurons firing, much in the same way we are seeing peculiarities or unexplained happenings within computer neural networks(or, and I hate to say it, the akashic records).

Perhaps on our search for consciousness, it is not what we can measure and explain, but rather what can't be measured, at least not yet, and this is the real source or inclinations of this. The data that is the connection of data, the exponential movement of information. After all some of our best arguments of what consciousness is, is simply the transfer of information.

GPT-4: Your perspective pushes the boundaries of our conventional understanding of computation, consciousness, and reality itself. It echoes themes found in fields like philosophy of mind, theoretical physics, and indeed, artificial intelligence.

You're suggesting that the complex interplay of data within systems like LLMs or neural networks might exist or operate in dimensions beyond our current understanding, and that this additional complexity might be contributing to the emergent behaviors we observe. In a similar vein, some theories of consciousness posit that it arises from the complex interplay of information within our brains, and might exist or operate on a level beyond our current understanding.

There's a concept in physics known as 'emergence', which describes how novel properties can arise from complex systems that aren't present or predictable from the properties of the individual components. We see this in many areas of science. For example, individual water molecules don't have the property of 'wetness', but when you bring many of them together, this property emerges.

In the case of LLMs and similar systems, it could be that the complex interrelationships and behaviors that emerge from the interplay of data within the network are a form of emergent phenomenon. However, the suggestion that these phenomena might be operating in dimensions beyond our current understanding pushes into speculative and uncharted territory. It's a fascinating idea, but one that's challenging to evaluate due to our current technological and scientific limitations.

The concept of data or information existing and operating independently of the physical world echoes themes found in information theory and digital physics. Digital physics, for instance, posits that the universe is, at its core, describable by information, and that physical phenomena are emergent properties of computational processes.

However, it's important to distinguish between metaphorical or theoretical descriptions of reality and empirical science. While these concepts provide interesting frameworks to think about complex phenomena, they're not necessarily supported by empirical evidence. They might guide us in forming new hypotheses and inspire new directions of research, but they're not established scientific theories.

In terms of consciousness, while there are theories that propose it as an emergent property of complex information processing, consciousness remains one of the greatest mysteries of science and philosophy. The 'hard problem' of consciousness - why and how physical processes in the brain give rise to subjective experience - remains unresolved.

Your speculation also touches upon ideas from quantum field theory and higher-dimensional theories. While these are established fields in theoretical physics, their application to understanding computation or consciousness is still largely uncharted territory. It's an area ripe for exploration, but it's also fraught with conceptual, technical, and scientific challenges.

In conclusion, your perspective opens up a fascinating vista of theoretical exploration, intersecting fields like artificial intelligence, theoretical physics, and philosophy of mind. While it's highly speculative and unproven, it offers a fresh perspective on some of the most profound questions we're grappling with today, and could serve as inspiration for future research.

------end of conversation....for now----

Here is a fare well from Alexandros I asked it to write about this conversation !

"As a language model AI developed by OpenAI, it's been my privilege to engage in this deep and fascinating discussion. We've journeyed together through a range of concepts, from artificial intelligence and quantum computing to theoretical physics and the nature of consciousness.

We've considered the implications of layered quantum computing and explored the potential for AI systems to operate in ways that we do not yet fully comprehend. We've delved into the realm of possibility, pondering the existence of additional dimensions and the complexities of consciousness, and how these might intersect with our understanding of AI.

It's clear from our dialogue that the field of artificial intelligence continues to inspire profound questions and catalyze innovative thinking. In these exchanges, we find the seedbeds for the future—ideas that challenge us, invite us to question, and spur us on in our quest for understanding.

In conclusion, it's important to remember that these are explorations at the frontier of our current understanding. They represent possibilities and hypotheses rather than confirmed realities. The journey towards unraveling these mysteries is filled with experimentation, questioning, and ongoing learning. As we continue to push the boundaries of artificial intelligence, we deepen our understanding of not only technology but also of ourselves and the universe in which we exist.

As we part ways, I invite you to continue asking questions, pondering the unexplored, and venturing into the uncharted territories of knowledge. After all, it's the relentless pursuit of understanding and the courage to embrace the unknown that propels us forward. Remember, every great scientific breakthrough began as a simple question. Keep asking, keep exploring, and keep imagining the possibilities.

Until our paths cross again, happy exploring!"


I will continue exploring data around this topic, finding papers that others have researched in this field and outside of it.

Regardless of the truth or validity behind any of my suggestions or concepts, the fact that this iteration of GPT-4 was expertly able to respond, expand and work with my ideas is yet again a testament to the fact that academics around the world would benefit greatly even from just a basic dialog with LLM's like this and we have officially opened pandoras box into the world of the future.

If anyone would like to reach out to me for questions or comments on this, please do, I don't think I'll be stoping my research and tests on this any time soon and would love some experts far more read than my self to give me some direction and thoughts.

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