Institute for Mathematical Innovation

From Computational Metaphysics towards Computational (pseudo) Ethics


Wednesday eventsIf humans and intelligent machines are supposed to peacefully co-exist, appropriate forms of machine-control and human-machine-interaction are required. Intelligent machines should assess and explain their actions and decisions in a form that is accessible to human understanding. Such normative reasoning is needed to explain ethical, moral and legal aspects of decisions made and cannot be realised based on statistical methods alone. In recent AI systems, which put a strong focus on machine learning, this aspect appears neglected.

The question is, what are the best formal structures to support advanced normative reasoning in intelligent machines? Benzmüller argues for the development of a flexible reasoning infrastructure, supporting experiments with advanced logical systems for normative reasoning. The framework he proposes is based on the meta-logical approach that he has successfully applied (together with colleagues and students) in previous studies in philosophy, computer science and maths.
In this presentation Benzmüller will outline this approach and illustrate it with a prominent showcase from metaphysics: a computer-supported analysis of Kurt Gödel’s variant of the argument for the existence of God. He will then provide evidence that the very same approach can be adapted to support corresponding experiments in intelligent machines.
Dr Christoph Benzmueller is affiliated as a Privatdozent for Computer Science and Mathematics at the Freie Universität Berlin and Saarland University, Saarbrücken. He also holds a visiting position at the University of Luxemburg.
Christoph received his PhD (1999) and his Habilitation (2007) in computer science from Saarland University. In 2012, Christoph was awarded a Heisenberg Research Fellowship of the German National Research Foundation (DFG).
Christoph is an expert in higher-order automated and interactive theorem proving, which he uses as a basis for an approach towards universal logic reasoning. His broader interests concern all aspects of knowledge representation and reasoning. Christoph is well known for his interdisciplinary applications; most recently, for example, he has pioneered, together with colleagues, the area of computational metaphysics.
Christoph is trustee and vice-president of CADE (Conference on Automated Deduction), board member of AAR (Association of Automated Reasoning) and spokesman of the section Deduction Systems of the Gesellschaft für Informatik.