Computer Simulations, Machine Learning and the Laplacean Demon: Opacity in the Case of High Energy Physics

In Andreas Kaminski, Michael Resch & Petra Gehring (eds.), The Science and Art of Simulation II (forthcoming)
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Abstract

In this paper, we pursue three general aims: (I) We will define a notion of fundamental opacity and ask whether it can be found in High Energy Physics (HEP), given the involvement of machine learning (ML) and computer simulations (CS) therein. (II) We identify two kinds of non-fundamental, contingent opacity associated with CS and ML in HEP respectively, and ask whether, and if so how, they may be overcome. (III) We address the question of whether any kind of opacity, contingent or fundamental, is unique to ML or CS, or whether they stand in continuity to kinds of opacity associated with other scientific research.

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