Engineered Wisdom for Learning Machines

Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence (2022)
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We argue that the concept of practical wisdom is particularly useful for organizing, understanding, and improving human-machine interactions. We consider the relationship between philosophical analysis of wisdom and psychological research into the development of wisdom. We adopt a practical orientation that suggests a conceptual engineering approach is needed, where philosophical work involves refinement of the concept in response to contributions by engineers and behavioral scientists. The former are tasked with encoding as much wise design as possible into machines themselves, as well as providing sandboxes or workspaces to help various stakeholders build practical wisdom in systems that are sufficiently realistic to aid transferring skills learned to real-world use. The latter are needed for the design of exercises and methods of evaluation within these workspaces, as well as ways of empirically assessing the transfer of wisdom from workspace to world. Systematic interaction between these three disciplines (and others) is the best approach to engineering wisdom for the machine age.

Author Profiles

Brett Karlan
Stanford University
Colin Allen
University of Pittsburgh


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