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Humanist Archives: Oct. 23, 2021, 6:35 a.m. Humanist 35.316 - psychoanalysis by a digital doctor?

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 316.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2021-10-22 08:27:51+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty <>
        Subject: psychoanalysis continued

My thanks to Henry and Hartmut for better informed responses to my
question on "psychoanalysis of a digital unconscious". More of that kind
would be very welcome. But let me change the question slightly.

Let's imagine an updated version of Weizenbaum's ELIZA in its
psychoanalytic application combined with something like an expert system
(remember those?) covering the subject area of the human interlocutor's
field of interest. And since we're imagining all this, let's assume
whatever computational power might be required. Let's say we have a
artificial doctor that learns dynamically from conversation with the
human, then responds by rephrasing the conversation, producing examples 
--or writing up a summary conclusion.

So far, I take it, systems have been designed to mimic, based on their
training sets. Is it conceivable given what we know now that such a
GPT3-like system could be designed not to mimic based on learned biases
but to deviate or extend 'beyond the information given' so as to
illuminate these biases?


Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

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