Philosophy after AI: meaning and understanding

Country: United Kingdom

City: London

Abstr. due: 10.01.2020

Dates: 06.04.20 — 09.04.20

Area Of Sciences: Philosophy;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour


Philosophy after AI symposium claims for a philosophical approach to the latest issues about the study of human mind and language developed in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
The goal of the Philosophy after AI symposium is to investigate the philosophical and linguistic perspectives of the research paths which deal with language as it is conceived by AI. Since Philosophy after AI is a wide research programme, the symposium to be held in 2020 is strictly connected to the previous two events held in 2018 and 2019. The first edition of the symposium has been devoted to the relationship between mind and knowledge, including the mind-body problem and the category of subject. The interaction of the category of subject in the mind-body problem has been highly encouraged in order to understand how human and artificial subject will live together also from an ethical perspective. The main themes of the symposium held in 2019 have been imagination and creativity and the role they play in AI researches and/or, conversely, how much they have changed (and are changing) after AI developments.
Recent developments in robotics (e.g. care robots) and researches on algorithms (e.g. a punctual prompter of needs) deal with some philosophical questions: is human imagination due to be replicated? Are technological developments affecting human creativity in long term? These issues concern the nature of learning and creativity philosophically. Moreover, these issues are bond to the acquisition of language and the linguistic change, which means that they should be investigated (also) by linguists and philosophers.
The development of AI asks for the role the advancement in such field plays in researches devoted to language, including the helpful effect on people with disabilities. Looking at linguistic practice, it seems that meaning and understanding will be increasingly investigated for application in AI research, starting from the classical (but needed) distinction between understanding and speech recognition. Another important issue concerns the shift in research on language: from the early attempts focused on syntax (e.g. SHRDLU by Winograd), researches have turned to issues such as automatic translation, language-learning data, natural language technologies. We should explore the way machines implement human language (e.g. Siri, Cortana, Alexa and many other smart assistants): could devices and human beings understand each other? In order to answer the question, one should start from exploring the sense of “understanding” and the influence of concepts from pragmatics such as context, intentions of the utterer and relevance.

We invite talks on the following (but not exclusively) topics:
Linguistics and AI;
AI research on language;
Learning, creativity and AI;
Meaning and AI;
Creativity, machine-learning and language;
Robots and communication;
Truth, post-truth and AI;
Social media, devices and human sociality.

Conference Web-Site: