Psychology Magazine

OpenAI’s ChatGPT Answers Some Questions from MindBlog

By Deric Bownds @DericBownds

Given a recent posting in which I played with the DALL-E 2 A.I. system that generates images when you tell it what you want to see, I was motivated by a Venkatesh Rao essay "The Dawn of Mediocre Computing" to try out an essay generating system - OpenAI's ChatGPT, released as a research beta several days ago. After puttering through a number of references and joining the OpenAI Discord Server, I fundamentally don't get it and have nothing original to pass on in this post, but I thought some MindBlog readers might enjoy spending some time in the rabbit hole I am just now exiting. I pass on the following MindBlog queries and ChatGPT's rather remarkable replies: 

Question: what is the predictive processing model for brain function? 

The predictive processing model is a framework for understanding how the brain works. It proposes that the brain is constantly generating predictions about the world around us and that these predictions are used to inform our perception, behavior, and action. According to this model, the brain is always trying to make sense of the sensory information it receives by comparing it to its internal models and predictions. If there is a mismatch between the sensory information and the brain's predictions, this can lead to the experience of surprise or prediction error. The brain then uses this prediction error to update its internal models and make more accurate predictions in the future. This process is thought to be the basis for how we learn and adapt to our environment. 

Question: What are the main models for brain function? 

There are many different models or frameworks for understanding how the brain works, each of which offers a different perspective on brain function. Some of the most prominent and well-known models include the following:

The neural network model, which proposes that the brain is composed of interconnected networks of neurons that communicate with each other through electrical and chemical signals.
The cognitive model, which emphasizes the role of higher-level cognitive processes such as attention, memory, and decision-making in brain function.
The computational model, which views the brain as a biological computer that processes information using algorithms and rules.
The systems model, which focuses on the ways in which different brain regions and systems interact to produce complex behaviors and mental states.
The evolutionary model, which emphasizes the role of natural selection in shaping the brain and its functions.
The dynamic systems model, which proposes that the brain is a complex, self-organizing system that is constantly adapting and changing in response to experience. 

Each of these models offers a different perspective on brain function and can be used to help understand different aspects of the brain and its behavior.

Question: Explain critical race theory 

Critical race theory is a school of thought that explores the ways in which race and racism affect and are embedded in the laws, policies, and social structures of society. It is a framework for understanding how society and its institutions can perpetuate inequality along racial lines, and it emphasizes the importance of examining the interplay between race, power, and the law. Critical race theory is often used as a lens for analyzing issues related to inequality and social justice. It is a critical approach to the study of race and racism that seeks to challenge and dismantle the ways in which race and racism operate in society. 

ADDENDUM: I suggest readers have a look at this article on "Sentience and Sensibility"


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