Philosophy, Machines, and AI

Is philosophy undergoing a radical transformation? In recent times, this question has been very fashionable especially after the novel development that has been happening in machine learning and AI . Whether this radical development and application of such knowledge in machine learning and AI is setting off a radical transformation of traditional philosophy?

What is philosophy?

The discipline concerned with questions of how one should live (ethics); what kinds of things exist and what are their essential natures (metaphysics); what counts as genuine knowledge (epistemology); and what are correct principles of reasoning (logic)?Wikipedia

Some definitions:

Investigation of the character , causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, supported logical reasoning instead of empirical methods (American Heritage Dictionary).

The study of the last word nature of existence, reality, knowledge and goodness, as discoverable by human reasoning (Penguin English Dictionary).

The rational investigation of questions on existence and knowledge and ethics (WordNet).

The look for knowledge and truth, especially about the character of man and his behavior and beliefs (Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary).

The rational and important inquiry into basic principles (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia).

The study of the foremost general and abstract features of the planet , the grounds for human knowledge, and therefore the evaluation of human conduct (The Philosophy Pages).

If we glance at the definitions we will find the foremost underlying principle of philosophy is questioning. The questioning of what's life? How one should live? What kind of things do exist and what are their natures? What are correct principles of reasoning? What are the principles of reality, knowledge, or values?

Finding the answers or solutions to questions or problems through the appliance of the principles of reasoning is that the aim of philosophy. In short, look for knowledge and truth. The search doesn't necessarily end in finding the reality . However, the method employed find the reality is more important. History tells us that wisdom of humans (the body of data and knowledge that develops within a specified society or period) changed and has been changing continuously. Humans are in pursuit of wisdom (the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, sense , and insight)

Blind beliefs are the most important obstacles that arrest our thinking process. Philosophers question these blind beliefs or rather question every belief. they're skeptical on everything. In fact, it's one among the philosophical methods (Methodic doubt) they employ so as to seek out the reality . Philosophizing begins with some simple doubt about accepted beliefs. They apply methodic doubt and knowledge to check the functional, dysfunctional, or destructive nature of an accepted and prevailing belief during a society. Wait a moment! we've a drag that's to be addressed first. once we say ' knowledge', it doesn't necessarily lead us to the truthfulness of the conclusion they reach . the prevailing knowledge isn't complete. Therefore, there's an opportunity of fallacy of conclusion. A conclusion could also be valid but it needn't be a truth. With the introduction of a further premise or deletion of an existing premise, the character of the conclusion will undergo a change.


The other common obstacles to logical and important thinking are a) Confirmation bias, b) Framing effects, c) Heuristics, and d) Common fallacies like fallacies of relevance, the Red Herring fallacy, the Strawman fallacy, the personal fallacy, fallacious appeal (to authority), the fallacy of composition, the fallacy of division, equivocation, appeal to popularity, appeal to tradition, appeal to ignorance, appeal to emotion, begging the question, false dilemma, decision point fallacy, the slippery slope fallacy, hasty generalizations, faulty analogies, and therefore the fallacy of fallacy. and that we can add the 2 formal fallacies a) affirming the resultant , b) denying the antecedent.

We humans make mistakes. It's often said that to err is attribute . Having known the myriad fallacies of logical arguments, we've been developing certain methods or models to avoid such errors. The philosophical methods are our carpenter's kit that when employed reduces our mistakes.

Apart from these obstacles, we've certain other human limitations like limitation of long-term & STM capacity and limitation of our sensory capacity. of these limitations are obstacles to our philosophizing. Therefore, we make mistakes knowingly and unknowingly. However, we've never stopped our endeavor to become the best species on earth.

On the opposite hand, machines though not the right species can avoid certain human limitations while performing the philosophizing. If they're given two logically supporting propositions they will deduce an ideal conclusion. However, if they're given randomly selected propositions will they be ready to pick the proper propositions that are logically supporting the conclusion? It depends upon the algorithm that we feed to the machine. But then, we aren't perfect. we've not yet completely understood how the human brain functions. the most purpose of employing a machine for philosophizing is to avoid errors. The machine might imitate the human errors, a humiliating human characteristic that we fervently wanted to avoid.

One approach is to permit the machine to find out thinking and take decisions on its own. within the process, the machine could also be ready to develop its own brain which will surpass the power and capacity of human brain. that would be an opportunity . This approach is already in trial.

Human wisdom is that the ability to think and act using knowledge, collective experience, understanding, sense , and insight. Will the machine be ready to attain and surpass the human wisdom?

The machine are often fed the knowledge accumulated by humans. However, the challenge is how the machine will devour the proper knowledge for a right claim. The machine doesn't have experience of human life. that's actually a blessing in disguise. If we feed all our experiences to the machine it'll be a mere cocktail of beliefs and concepts that are different and mostly diagonally opposite to at least one another. the simplest thing is to feed information as little as possible and leave the remainder to the machine to possess the first-hand experience with humans. meaning the machine will accept citizenry and interact with humans in order that they develop knowledge of human behavior and hopefully the opposite human characteristics like emotional understanding, sense , etc.

Most probably, the philosophical methods which include the principles of reasoning to form right conclusions are going to be greatly useful to the machine. It can take decisions minus the logical fallacies that we commit knowingly and unknowingly. Such a machine could really immensely be helpful to humans especially as a guide or guard which will work without succumbing to emotions and biases.

Apart from philosophical methods, the machine also can be fed with super sensory powers without which human intelligence is restricted . Humans might take a extended time to develop such built-in extra sensory powers. Such a machine would be a wonderful piece of art.

Therefore, the philosophical methods will transform the character of machines instead of the machines setting off radical transformation of philosophizing. The machines would assist humans to require right conclusions. The machines would devour the proper propositions from the big data and supply us a legitimate conclusion which may be a tiresome, time-consuming task of humans. The machines can work continuously without boredom unless they develop their own human-like emotions. Hope, the machines understand human emotions and at an equivalent time don't have emotions.

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