Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence
The first part of the course, taught by Barry Smith, is a general introduction to philosophy as applied in AI, including applications in intelligence analysis. This will involve discussion of contemporary applied ontology, of how ontologies are used in information and data science, illustrated by the ontology of emotions as used in datamining.
The middle part of the class (mostly seminar based), will be held by Alessandro Facchini. In it, thorough the introduction and discussion of various articles, we are going to see how the actual and possible developments of artificial intelligence open up a series of striking questions such as:
- Can really a computer think in the way a human being does? Can it have a mind and conscious experiences, such as thoughts, desires, and emotions?
- What is machine intelligence? Is it the same as human intelligence? Are they even comparable or are they something essentially different?
- Can machine intelligence arise without anything like symbol manipulation or logical reasoning?
- Is there something like “machine epistemology”?
- Can a machine be morally responsible for its actions? Can we teach them right from wrong?
- What is "the Singularity"? Is it conceivable? What fundamental questions does it rise?
The final part of the course, again taught by Barry Smith, is a philosophy-grounded introduction to three main types of AI: machine learning, classification and reinforcement learning. It will describe the strengths and limitations of each, drawing conclusions relating to: the ethics of AI; the failures of general AI; the incoherence of AI as applied by the new 'transhumanists', who foresee a time when humans will become immortal by living on as digital artifacts.