Philosophy

I have always had a long standing interest in Artificial Intelligence and would like to pursue a career in this field. In my opinion, one of the  keys to creating an AI is to have it reason like a person. For instance, humans deal with uncertainty on a daily basis, and that affects what conclusion they reach. By understanding how humans deal with real-world issues like uncertainty, one can create a more capable artificial intelligence. For that, one needs to first understand how we view and reason about the world, and the best way to do that is to dive into areas of philosophy such as epistemology and logic. These are the types of challenges that first attracted me to this field and still hold my interests today.

Some people argue that being able to replicate emotions is important to successfully creating an AI. Others focus on how we learn to recognize shapes or words. I’m not saying that these are bad things to study, but I am saying that when it comes to creating artificial creatures that can reason and work in the real world that it makes a great deal of sense to start with some of the oldest, and maybe most important, questions: what do we mean by the “real world” and how do we view our ‘self’ as opposed to ‘everything else’? How do we decide what we ‘know’ to be true as opposed to what we ‘believe’ to be true? These types of issues, the focus of fields like epistemology, will need to be dealt with by any truly capable AI.

My goal is to spend time on developing software that can deal with, and reason about, the real world with all the flexibility that a person can. This is why I’m not only majored in Computer Science, but also minored in Philosophy. If I can develop a better understanding as to how the human mind works when reasoning, then I can better replicate that with software. That will be the key to creating robots and cognitive agents able to reach decisions even from data that ipresents an incomplete and uncertain view of the world. And that will be the key to sending robots out to explore places we can not go ourselves.

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