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Intellectual Ambition | Artificial Intelligence (Unit 2)

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Introduction

We’re living in a time of rapid change. Artificial intelligence has the potential to do a lot of good in the world. It also has significant risks and dangers. Over the past year, we’ve been forced to ask big questions: what is creativity? what is intelligence? what does it mean to be human if AI can do human-like things better than we can?
In this unit, we’ll develop our research skills and learn how to understand the arguments authors are making. You’ll also take time to use AI and learn how it’s impacting different industries. At the end, we’ll collectively explore some of the ethical and philosophical questions AI asks of us.

What We’ll Learn About

The basics of artificial intelligence. (It’s history, how it works, the positive and negative potential is has, and how it’s currently affecting various industries.)
How to develop intellectual ambition and rigor.
How to investigate sources/arguments for their own rigor and reliability.
How to synthesize multiple sources together in order to have a trustworthy understanding of a topic.

Related Resources

Intellectual Humility vs Ambition

Classical Liberalism #9: How does intellectual humility unlock greater knowledge? | Bradley Jackson
Classical Liberalism #9: How does intellectual humility unlock greater knowledge? Watch the newest video from Big Think: https://bigth.ink/NewVideo Join Big Think Edge for exclusive videos: https://bigth.ink/Edge ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Classical liberalist thinking is based on the fundamental notion that we're all equal as citizens within our governmental order. This thought lends itself to the specific principle of intellectual humility. Senior Program Officer at the Institute for Humane Studies, Bradley Jackson provides the definition of intellectual humility as recognition that we have imperfect knowledge of the world. If each of us remains intellectually humble, this levels us as equals. Putting this into practice calls for a level of social trust, and maintaining this liberal democracy requires that we view each other as equals in these moral and political ways. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BRADLEY JACKSON: Bradley Jackson is the Senior Program Officer at the Institute for Humane Studies, where he works on topics such as civil discourse, free expression, and the challenges facing contemporary liberalism. He also writes on the history of political philosophy, including figures such as Adam Smith and Thomas Hobbes. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Michigan State University. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT: BRADLEY JACKSON: Intellectual humility is the recognition that you have imperfect knowledge about the world. There are many things that each of us don't know and to be intellectually humble means to go through the world with a recognition that there are things that you don't know yet and that perhaps you would like to learn about. And an important way that we communicate with others through conversations is that we share the knowledge that each of us has. And the only way that you can start a good conversation and have a discourse with a person is if you recognize that the other person also has important things to offer, things that they can tell you about. And that you might have blind spots in your own point of view, bits of ignorance that you hold onto as truths, that you wish you could get away from but you don't know how. And importantly we don't know which parts of our knowledge are incorrect. We don't know the things that we don't know. And we go through the world as though we understand it, as though we know the importance things but we're very often wrong. So we need to believe that we have blind spots. We need to believe that there are bits of ignorance in our minds if we're going to approach conversations with others, if we're going to approach discourse with the belief that the other person we're talking to is important, and they're important to us. Because what's in their mind might be a thing that could help us in the world. One great model I think of the sort of posture toward the world that's helpful is Socrates. Socrates very famously said in his apology speech that the only thing I know is that I know nothing. He had this posture of what we call now Socratic ignorance and approached every conversation as though the person he was talking to could teach him everything he needed to know. He lacked all this knowledge by hypothesis. He always assumed he lacked the knowledge and he always assumed that his interlocutor or the person he was talking to would be able to provide him that knowledge. Now in the dialogues of Plato we see again and again that Socrates is frustrated. That he doesn't end up learning what he desperately needs to know. He continually lacks this certainty. But that lack of certainty is what pushes Socrates to search for knowledge, to attempt to go into the world and find those things that he doesn't know yet. And so it's only by assuming that we don't have certainty, it's only by recognizing the fundamental uncertainty of being a human in the world that we can have a posture that tells us to go and try to fix it. Now in liberalism, which is based upon this fundamental notion that we're all equal as citizens within our governmental order, for someone to act as though they're not equal, they're better. That signifies that they're not playing the same game we are. Maybe if they thought they could, they would try to rule us. That's a great danger. Hobbes says that absence social trust. Absence, my belief that you believe that we are equal. I might also defect from this liberal order that we're trying to build together. The whole notion of liberal democracy says none of us naturally rule anyone else. No one is... Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/intellectual-humility
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