School of Informatics

Brian Cantwell Smith - Reckoning and Judgement: The Promise of AI

Abstract

Brian Cantwell Smith

New developments in Artificial Intelligence, particularly deep learning and other forms of ”second-wave” AI, are attracting enormous public attention, with triumphalist predicting that human-level AI is “just around the corner”. To assess the situation we need a broad understanding of intelligence in terms of which to assess:

  • What kinds of intelligence machines currently have, and will likely have in the future; and
  • What kinds people have, and also may be capable of in the future.

As a first step in this direction, I distinguish two kinds of intelligence:

  • “Reckoning”, the kind of calculative rationality that computers excel at, including both first- and second-wave AI;

and

  • “judgement”, a form of dispassionate, deliberative thought, grounded in ethical commitment and responsible action that is appropriate to the situation in which it is deployed.

AI will develop world-changing reckoning systems, I argue, but nothing in AI as currently conceived approaches what is required to build a system capable of judgement.

Biography

Brian Cantwell Smith is Reid Hoffman Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Human, as well as being Professor of Information, Philosophy, Cognitive Science, and the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, and a Senior Fellow at Massey College. Smith holds BS, MS and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). From 1981 to 1996 he was a Principal Scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. He was a founder of the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University (CSLI), a founder and first President of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), and President (1998-99) of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SPP). From 1996 to 2001 he was Professor of Cognitive Science, Computer Science, and Philosophy at Indiana University, and from 2001 to 2003 was Kimberly J. Jenkins University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and New Technologies and professor in the departments of Philosophy and Computer Science at Duke University. Smith moved to the University of Toronto in 2003, initially to serve as Dean of the Faculty of Information (2003–2008).

The Distinguished Lecture will be followed by a short drinks reception from 5 - 6:30pm

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Nov 11 2019 -

Brian Cantwell Smith - Reckoning and Judgement: The Promise of AI

Professor Cantwell Smith will argue that AI will develop world-changing reckoning systems, but nothing in AI as currently conceived approaches what is required to build a system capable of judgement.

G.07/G.07A
Informatics Forum
10 Crichton Street
Edinburgh
EH8 9AB