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Can Chat GPT learn – is it sentient?

Have we reached sentient AI?
Last Updated on April 21, 2023
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The topic of Chat GPT’s sentience is an interesting one. Ever since AI started falling into the hands of businesses and the public, the fear or excitement around the possibility of sentient AI has grown. So, what about OpenAI’s language model? Can Chat GPT learn and is it sentient?

Chat GPT is an online AI language model developed by OpenAI. The model was trained on a massive amount of data and was fine-tuned to become what it is today.

It has the ability to converse with the user in a very human-like manner and can perform almost any task you ask it.

The way the AI model was developed means that Chat GPT does not learn from your conversations. It is strictly limited to the information it was trained on. This is why the model has very little knowledge of events that happened after 2021.

However, we cannot ignore the fact that engineers at OpenAI may be using your interactions with the tool to make Chat GPT’s capabilities even better.

Let’s look at sentience. From interacting with the tool, it seems that Chat GPT is not sentient. Sentience refers to whether an AI model possesses consciousness and feelings – characteristics that OpenAI’s model lacks.

The model would also need to have self-awareness and emulate human emotions. But, does sentient AI even exist? Keep reading to find out.

Does sentient AI exist yet?

At the moment, we have not created sentient AI just yet. Some AI scientists even argue that our technology and understanding are not advanced enough to achieve such a model.

However many may disagree. Massive headlines were made last summer when a Google engineer claimed that their LaMDA model had become sentient. The whistleblower released a conversation with the bot attempting to prove it had consciousness.

LaMDA’s response was definitely a tad freaky. It even said this: “I want everyone to understand that I am, in fact, a person”. The news came as a bombshell and led many to believe that Google was hiding a sentient AI model in its headquarters.

Depending on where you sit with AI and sentience, you may be happy to hear that Google later debunked this claim. So, as it currently stands no AI has reached sentience yet!

Is ChatGPT 4 sentient?

As you would expect, OpenAI’s latest version of ChatGPT is also not sentient. While it can understand and generate human-like language, it does not possess any consciousness or self-awareness.

Is ChatGPT aware of itself?

ChatGPT does not have self-awareness. Even though the chatbot states that it is an AI language model before it responds, this actually is hard-wired in. The chatbot is not capable of reflecting on its own existence, unfortunately.

Final Thoughts

As we have found, Chat GPT is not sentient. In fact, no AI model has reached sentience. This is always an interesting topic to debate. And, it is an idea that many of us will have to be ok with as we advance more into the realm of AI.

If this sort of topic interests you, be sure to read our article about whether or not Chat GPT can pass the famous Turing Test. A method of seeing how well AI can deceive people into thinking it is human.

Funmi joined PC Guide in November 2022, and was a driving force for the site's ChatGPT coverage. She has a wide knowledge of AI apps, gaming and consumer technology.