Could A Machine Have An Unconscious?

Meghan O’Gieblyn at n+1:

GPT-3’s most consistent limitation is “world-modeling errors.” Because it has no sensory access to the world and no programmed understanding of spatial relationships or the laws of physics, it sometimes makes mistakes no human would, like failing to correctly guess that a toaster is heavier than a pencil, or asserting that a foot has “two eyes.” Critics seize on these errors as evidence that it lacks true understanding, that its latent connections are something like shadows to a complex three-dimensional world. The models are like the prisoners in Plato’s cave, trying to approximate real-world concepts from the elusive shadow play of language. 

But it’s precisely this shadow aspect (Jung’s term for the unconscious) that makes its creative output so beautifully surreal. The model exists in an ether of pure signifiers, unhampered by the logical inhibitions that lead to so much deadweight prose.

more here.