The New Sciences of the Artificial and Why We Need Philosophy


Since the publication in 1969 of Herbert Simon’s seminal book The Sciences of the Artificial, the question of the artificiality of our world has been raised and analyzed with different approaches. The current acceleration in the design, deployment, and use of autonomous and intelligent systems (notably AI and intelligent robotics) calls for an urgent reconsidering of the realm of artificiality in light of the peculiarities of these artificial systems and their increasing diffusion throughout the fabric of society. Notwithstanding their evolution and diffusion, a comprehensive investigation into the nature of artificiality and the foundations of the new sciences of the artificial is missing. In this talk, Viola Schiaffonati will discuss the philosophical foundations of this new and interdisciplinary field of study.

Viola Schiaffonati is an Associate Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at Politecnico di Milano. Her research includes the philosophy of AI and robotics, as well as the ethical issues associated with intelligent and autonomous systems. She currently holds the position of Director of the CINI National Laboratory on Informatics & Society (IeS) and is one of the three founding members of Polimi META, the study unit of social sciences and humanities for science and technology. Additionally, she has served as a member of the European Commission Expert Group on AI and data in education and training, representing Informatics Europe.

Ludger Hagedorn, Permanent Fellow at the IWM, will moderate the event.