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  1. Reasoning with heuristics.Brett Karlan - 2021 - Ratio 34 (2):100-108.
    Which rules should guide our reasoning? Human reasoners often use reasoning shortcuts, called heuristics, which function well in some contexts but lack the universality of reasoning rules like deductive implication or inference to the best explanation. Does it follow that human reasoning is hopelessly irrational? I argue: no. Heuristic reasoning often represents human reasoners reaching a local rational maximum, reasoning more accurately than if they try to implement more “ideal” rules of reasoning. I argue this is a genuine rational achievement. (...)
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  2. The rational dynamics of implicit thought.Brett Karlan - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):774-788.
    Implicit attitudes are mental states posited by psychologists to explain behaviors including implicit racial and gender bias. In this paper I investigate the belief view of the implicit attitudes, on which implicit attitudes are a kind of implicit belief. In particular, I focus on why implicit attitudes, if they are beliefs, are often resistant to updating in light of new evidence. I argue that extant versions of the belief view do not give a satisfactory account of this phenomenon. This is (...)
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  3. Engineered Wisdom for Learning Machines.Brett Karlan & Colin Allen - 2024 - Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 36 (2):257-272.
    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 (...)
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    Authenticity in algorithm-aided decision-making.Brett Karlan - forthcoming - Synthese.
    I identify an undertheorized problem with decisions we make with the aid of algorithms: the problem of inauthenticity. When we make decisions with the aid of algorithms, we can make ones that go against our commitments and values in a normatively important way. In this paper, I present a framework for algorithm-aided decision-making that can lead to inauthenticity. I then construct a taxonomy of the features of the decision environment that make such outcomes likely, and I discuss three possible solutions (...)
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  5. Human achievement and artificial intelligence.Brett Karlan - 2023 - Ethics and Information Technology 25 (3):1-12.
    In domains as disparate as playing Go and predicting the structure of proteins, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have begun to perform at levels beyond which any humans can achieve. Does this fact represent something lamentable? Does superhuman AI performance somehow undermine the value of human achievements in these areas? Go grandmaster Lee Sedol suggested as much when he announced his retirement from professional Go, blaming the advances of Go-playing programs like AlphaGo for sapping his will to play the game at (...)
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    On non-ideal individual epistemology.Brett Karlan - forthcoming - International Journal of Philosophical Studies.
    Robin McKenna’s excellent Non-Ideal Epistemology is, among other things, a testament to restraint. McKenna does not want to unnecessarily inflame tensions between ideal and non-ideal theorists in epistemology. Often ideal and non-ideal projects are aimed at different target domains and not in tension with one another (though not always; e.g. McKenna 2023, ch. 6, especially pp. 112-21). In this commentary, I will have much less tact. I sketch a route by which the non-ideal epistemologist might become more belligerent towards their (...)
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  7. Quantum of Wisdom.Colin Allen & Brett Karlan - 2022 - In Greg Viggiano (ed.), Quantum Computing and AI: Social, Ethical, and Geo-Political Implications. pp. 157-166.
    Practical quantum computing devices and their applications to AI in particular are presently mostly speculative. Nevertheless, questions about whether this future technology, if achieved, presents any special ethical issues are beginning to take shape. As with any novel technology, one can be reasonably confident that the challenges presented by "quantum AI" will be a mixture of something new and something old. Other commentators (Sevilla & Moreno 2019), have emphasized continuity, arguing that quantum computing does not substantially affect approaches to value (...)
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