In February, I wrote about AI and inquiry.
I didn’t write about another conversation I had with ChatGPT:
Around the same time, I asked it “What is the connection between PEM and emotions. It gave me a reasonable answer, and spoke sensibly about the work of Lisa Feldman Barrett. However, when I asked it about the connection between PEM and awakening, it said “there isn’t one”. Hah, okay.
Today, I downloaded and ran an open source LLM (large language model, the tech behind ChatGPT) on my desktop PC. 19Gb download for the model, but still, not that huge.
I asked it the same PEM and awakening question, and it actually had an answer, part of which was spot on:
Some researchers have suggested that PEM may be related to awakening in that both involve a process of updating one’s model of the world based on new information and feedback. In the case of awakening, this may involve a shift in one’s understanding of the nature of reality, the self, and the mind. This shift may result in a reduction of prediction error and a greater sense of well-being and fulfillment.
A totally reasonable answer that I figure few people in this world could come up with.
Next I asked it which researchers. It had this to say:
[assistant]: The relationship between prediction error minimization (PEM) and awakening is an area of interest in both psychology and spirituality. While there is no one researcher who is universally recognized as an expert on this topic, there are several scholars and practitioners who have written about the connection between PEM and awakening.
In the field of psychology, Daniel Siegel is a well-known researcher who has written about the relationship between PEM and mindfulness. Siegel has suggested that the process of minimizing prediction errors may be a key component of mindfulness practice and may contribute to the development of greater awareness and well-being.
In the field of spirituality, Adyashanti is a well-known teacher who has written about the relationship between PEM and awakening. Adyashanti has suggested that the process of minimizing prediction errors may be a key component of spiritual practice and may contribute to the development of greater awareness and liberation from suffering.
Overall, while there is no one researcher who is universally recognized as an expert on the connection between PEM and awakening, there are several scholars and practitioners who have written about this topic and who may be able to provide more information.
Googling these people and “Prediction Error Minimisation” does not bring up anything significant, so this will require some further investigation. But still, it is impressive that this downloadable model was able to come up with answers like this!
Of course, we should be wary of believing LLMs outright. I asked it next about my Odoki Method, and it seems to think Shinzen Young and Tenshin Reb Anderson created it, not me! What follows is a plausible, but totally incorrect answer. Nowere have I stated the meaning of the word “Odoki” - that, and its connection with mindfulness is purely its own conjecture! Here’s the interaction:
[user]: Do you know anything about the Odoki Method? [assistant]: The Odoki Method is a mindfulness and meditation practice that was developed by Dr. Shinzen Young and Tenshin Reb Anderson. The method is based on the idea that the mind is like a river and that meditation is a way to observe the flow of thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them.
The Odoki Method involves a combination of mindfulness meditation, visualization, and body awareness exercises. Practitioners are encouraged to pay close attention to their breath, bodily sensations, and thoughts, and to observe them with a sense of curiosity and non-judgment.
The name “Odoki” comes from the Japanese word for “little path” or “small road.” The idea is that the practice of mindfulness is a small path that can lead to greater awareness and understanding of oneself and the world.
The Odoki Method is considered to be a form of mindfulness meditation that emphasizes the importance of present-moment awareness and the cultivation of a non-judgmental attitude towards one’s thoughts and emotions. It is often taught in meditation centers and retreats, and is considered to be a valuable tool for improving mental health and well-being.
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