Minds and Machines 32 (1):111-133 (2022)

Hajo Greif
Warsaw University of Technology
The problem of epistemic opacity in Artificial Intelligence is often characterised as a problem of intransparent algorithms that give rise to intransparent models. However, the degrees of transparency of an AI model should not be taken as an absolute measure of the properties of its algorithms but of the model’s degree of intelligibility to human users. Its epistemically relevant elements are to be specified on various levels above and beyond the computational one. In order to elucidate this claim, I first contrast computer models and their claims to algorithm-based universality with cybernetics-style analogue models and their claims to structural isomorphism between elements of model and target system. While analogue models aim at perceptually or conceptually accessible model-target relations, computer models give rise to a specific kind of underdetermination in these relations that needs to be addressed in specific ways. I then undertake a comparison between two contemporary AI approaches that, although related, distinctly align with the above modelling paradigms and represent distinct strategies towards model intelligibility: Deep Neural Networks and Predictive Processing. I conclude that their respective degrees of epistemic transparency primarily depend on the underlying purposes of modelling, not on their computational properties.
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DOI 10.1007/s11023-022-09596-9
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Vision.David Marr - 1982 - W. H. Freeman.
The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.

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