Do ML models represent their targets?

Philosophy of Science (forthcoming)
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Abstract

I argue that ML models used in science function as highly idealized toy models. If we treat ML models as a type of highly idealized toy model, then we can deploy standard representational and epistemic strategies from the toy model literature to explain why ML models can still provide epistemic success despite their lack of similarity to their targets.

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Emily Sullivan
Utrecht University

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References found in this work

True Enough.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2017 - Cambridge: MIT Press.
Idealization and the Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2017 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Understanding from Machine Learning Models.Emily Sullivan - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (1):109-133.
Transparency in Complex Computational Systems.Kathleen A. Creel - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (4):568-589.
How models are used to represent reality.Ronald N. Giere - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):742-752.

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