Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: March 14, 2023, 6:45 a.m. Humanist 36.440 - AI, agency and intelligence; Weizenbaum's secretary

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 440.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2023-03-13 16:01:30+00:00
        From: James Rovira <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 36.436: pubs: AI, agency and intelligence

This article looks great -- I'm looking forward to reading it. There may be
a bit of an issue with the abstract:

In this sentence, you say AI lacks intelligence:

"The article argues that these LLMs can process texts with extraordinary
success and often in a way that is indistinguishable from human output,
while lacking any intelligence, understanding or cognitive ability."

But in this sentence, you sound like you're saying AI has intelligence
without agency:

"The article concludes that LLMs, represent a decoupling of agency and

I'm confident you clarify in the body, but you might want to clarify within
the abstract too? Maybe say it decouples agency from *processing*, so as a
result lacks intelligence, or add the phrase "in human terms" to the end of
the earlier sentence?

Willard's query about the secretary was fascinating too. We might want to
be careful about taking male interpretations of women's actions at face
value, especially during that period. Was she anthropomorphizing, or did
she want to be left alone because she wanted to say out loud some things
she didn't want her male superior to hear?

Jim R

On Mon, Mar 13, 2023 at 2:54 AM Humanist <> wrote:

>         Date: 2023-03-12 18:36:11+00:00
>         From: Luciano Floridi <>
>         Subject: OA article: "AI as Agency Without Intelligence: On
> ChatGPT, Large Language Models, and Other Generative Models"
> In case it may be of interest to members of the list:
> “AI as Agency Without Intelligence: On ChatGPT, Large Language Models, and
> Other
> Generative Models”
> has now been published in Philosophy and Technology.
> The free OA preprint can be downloaded @SSRN
> With best wishes,
> Luciano
> ______________
> Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information
> Oxford Internet Institute
> Fellow, Exeter College
> University of Oxford

Dr. James Rovira <>

   - *David Bowie and Romanticism
   Palgrave Macmillan, 2022
   - *Women in Rock, Women in Romanticism
   Routledge, 2023

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