This project on Practical Wisdom and Intelligent Machines ("The Machine Wisdom Project") is funded by a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation Diverse Intelligences program to Colin Allen while at the Department of History & Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh and a sub-award to Chris Davison, Department of Information Systems and Operations Management, Ball State University, Indiana.
The goal of the machine wisdom project is to develop a framework for defining and enhancing practical wisdom in human-machine interactions. The notion of practical wisdom highlights both (1) the current limitations in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Systems (AI/ML) and (2) the dangers entailed when humans must make real-time adjustments to AI/ML systems with only partial understanding of how they work. The Machine Wisdom Project envisages strategies for mitigating both (1) and (2) that recognize lack of self-awareness in current and foreseeable AI/ML technologies, and the need to promote designs that make those limitations apparent.
Feedback loops between the actions of people and artificially intelligent machines constitute socio-technical systems with the potential to alter (positively and negatively) the capacity of individuals to act ethically. We seek to deliver principles and recommendations for the design of socio-technical systems that minimize the likelihood that people adapt to the rigid incomprehension of machines in ways that restrict their own ethical autonomy and responsibility, that minimize the potential for bad actors to exploit these limitations, and that improve the capacity of individuals to act ethically within the socio-technical system.
In May 2021 we held an online invitation-only workshop to work on conceptual issues related to the project. Read a summary here.
The second workshop was held May 12-14, 2022, hosted by the Pittsburgh Center for Philosophy of Science University of Pittsburgh , to further work on the conceptual issues and their practical implementation. Here is a link to the abstract booklet (pdf).
Other Events and Media
- 2023-04-19 Colin Allen a panelist at Science Revealed session titled "ChatGPT Wrote this Title: Exploring the Impact of AI on Our Minds and Society." Open to the public although requires an email RSVP to get login information.
- 2023-04-06 Colin Allen appeared on Pittsburgh CBS-TV affiliate KDKA's Talk Pittsburgh
- 2023-04-04 Colin Allen a panelist at Pitt's Faculty Senate Plenary session on Frames for Generative AI
- 2023-03-21 What is the Eliza Effect? article at BuiltIn quotes Colin Allen.
- 2022-08-22 A.I. Is Not Sentient. Why Do People Say It Is? NY Times article by Cade Metz quotes Colin Allen.
- 2022-05-09 Colin Allen interviewed for Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs podcast on "Any Progress in Building Moral Machines?"
- 2020-08-29 Colin Allen and NY Times journalist Cade Metz are the featured guests on KCRW's Life Examined show In a pandemic of loneliness, people talk to chatbots.
During this project Colin Allen was Distinguished Professor of History & Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He has since moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara as Distinguished Professor of Philosophy.
Christopher Davison is Assistant Professor of Computer Technology in the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management at Ball State University.
Brett Karlan was the TWCF-supported Postdoctoral research fellow History & Philosophy of Science for this Machine Wisdom project at the University of Pittsburgh. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University's Human-Centered AI project in academic year 2022-2023, he will become assistant professor of philosophy at Purdue University in the Fall of 2023.
A subproject at Ball State University is the site for our attempt to design a system which makes fair and transparent decisions about heating and cooling based on feedback from building occupants. More information can be found at EMMA subproject page.
- Allen, C. & Karlan, B. (2023). "Quantum of wisdom." In G. Viggiano (ed.) Convergence: Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing: Social, Ethical, and Geo-Political Impacts. Wiley.
- Davison, C.B., Hua, D., Lazaros, E.J., Truell, A.D., Bowles, B., Boomershine, E., Allen, C. (2022) "EMMA - The Ethical Multimodal, Modeling and Adaptive AI System for Fairness in Building Tenant Comfort." Issues in Information Systems 23(3), 279-291.
- Karlan, B. & Allen, C. (2022) "Engineered wisdom for learning machines." Journal of Experimental and Theoretical AI