Practical Wisdom and Intelligent Machines
TWCF Number
Project Duration
July 1 / 2020
- June 30 / 2023
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
North America
Amount Awarded

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Colin Allen
Institution University of Pittsburgh

This project will develop a framework for defining and enhancing practical wisdom in human–machine interactions. Feedback loops between people and intelligent machines constitute socio-technical systems with the potential to alter (positively and negatively) the capacity of individuals to act ethically. The notion of practical wisdom highlights both (1) limitations in artificial intelligence systems and (2) the importance of sound, experience-based judgment in situations where humans must make real-time adjustments to AI behavior with only partial understanding of how they work.

Colin Allen at the University of Pittsburgh will develop the Machine Wisdom framework and use it to create recommendations for the design and deployment of advanced AI systems. Through a collaboration with Ball State University, the Machine Wisdom Project will assess the effectiveness of designing human–machine interactions around the concept of practical wisdom in the context of AI applications.

Project Resources
We argue that the concept of practical wisdom is particularly useful for organising, understanding, and improving human-machine interactions. ...
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