8/2020 (1)

Jacek Koronacki

Institute of Computer Science Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Jana Kazimierza 5, 01-248 Warsaw, Poland.

Email: jacek.koronacki@ipipan.waw.pl





This is a modest endeavour written from an engineering perspective by a nonphilosopher to set things straight if somewhat roughly: What does artificial intelligence boil down to? What are its merits and why some dangers may stem from its development in this time of confusion when, to quote Rémi Brague: “From the point of view of technology, man appears as outdated, or at least superfluous”?

Keywords: artificial intelligence, strong artificial intelligence, machine learning, disenchanted world.




Witold Marciszewski

International Center for Formal Ontology, affiliated at Warsaw University of Technology, Pl. Politechniki 1, 00-661 Warsaw, Poland.

E-mail: witmar@calculemus.org





Science means here mathematics and those empirical disciplines which avail themselves of mathematical models. The pragmatic approach is conceived in Karl R. Popper’s The Logic of Scientific Discovery (p. 276) sense: a logical appraisal of the success of a theory amounts to the appraisal of its corroboration. This kind of appraisal is exemplified in section 6 by a case study—on how Isaac Newton justified his theory of gravitation. The computational approach in problem-solving processes consists in considering them in terms of computability: either as being performed according to a model of computation in a narrower sense, e.g., the Turing machine, or in a wider perspective—of machines associated with a non-mechanical device called “oracle” by Alan Turing (1939). Oracle can be interpreted as computertheoretic representation of intuition or invention. Computational approach in another sense means considering problem-solving processes in terms of logical gates, supposed to be a physical basis for solving problems with a reasoning. Pragmatic rationalism about science, seen at the background of classical rationalism (Descartes, Gottfried Leibniz etc.), claims that any scientific idea, either in empirical theories or in mathematics, should be checked through applications to problem-solving processes. Both the versions claim the existence of abstract objects, available to intellectual intuition. The difference concerns the dynamics of science: (i) the classical rationalism regards science as a stationary system that does not need improvements after having reached an optimal state, while (ii) the pragmatical version conceives science as evolving dynamically due to fertile interactions between creative intuitions, or inventions, with mechanical procedures. The dynamics of science is featured with various models, like Derek J. de Solla Price’s exponential and Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm model (the most familiar instances). This essay suggests considering Turing’s idea of oracle as a complementary model to explain most adequately, in terms of exceptional inventiveness, the dynamics of mathematics and mathematizable empirical sciences.

Keywords: algorithm, behavioral (vs declarative) knowledge, computability, corroboration, innate knowledge, intuition, invention, logic gates, oracle, pragmatic (vs classical) rationalism, problem-solving, reasoning, symbolic logic, Turing machine.




Kazimierz Trzęsicki

University of Bialystok, ul. Świerkowa 20B, 15-328 Białystok, Poland.

E-mail: kasimir4701@gmail.com





Artificial Intelligence, both as a hope of making a substantial progress, and a fear of the unknown and unimaginable, has its roots in human dreams. These dreams were materialized by means of rational intellectual efforts. We see beginnings of such a process in Lullus’s fancies. Many scholars and enthusiasts participated in the development of Lullus’s art, ars combinatoria. Amongst them, Athanasius Kircher was distinguished. Gottfried Leibniz ended the period in which the idea of artificial intelligence had been shaped, and started a new one when artificial intelligence could be considered a part of science, according to today’s standards.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, ars combinatoria, Ramon Lullus, Athanasius Kircher, Gottfried Leibniz




Andrzej Targowski, Henryk Krawczyk

Andrzej Targowski – Western Michigan University (1980–2017).

E-mail: andrew.targowski@wmich.edu

Henryk Krawczyk – Polska Akademia Nauk; Centrum Informatyczne Trójmiejskiej Akademickiej Sieci Komputerowej.

E-mail: hkrawk@pg.edu.pl





The purpose of this study is to answer the question of whether informatics is a field or just a discipline of knowledge. Analyzes of info-computer-based problems, consider that informatics in Poland should be treated as a field. It was emphasized that the English term computer science is only one of the informatics-oriented specializations. The word “informatics” can be associated much more often with terms; IT in the US and ICT in Europe except France, where l’informatique terminology is used). Which name to use since the narrow understanding of information processing and handling is losing its full potential for the right development. In practice, it means a reduction in undertaking ambitious tasks and the higher costs of its development. Social implications confirmed that, despite a lot of capable informaticians, Poland had not been seen (except for computer devices), the right development of informatics-oriented applications. Hence the essential general informaticsoriented strategy is offered because the digital equipment-oriented strategy alone is not enough to apply in success looking ICT applications.

Keywords: informatics, computer science, ICT, informatic strategy, social implications of informatics.




Mariusz Mazurek

Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Nowy Świat 72, 00-330 Warsaw, Poland.

E-mail: mmazurek@ifispan.waw.pl





The article presents a brief exposition of alternative ways of creating virtual objects and the status of their existence inspired by the relevant views of Plato, Aristotle, Franz Brentano and Karl Popper as well as various conceptions of representation. I argue that the present state of research on the problem of “computer” virtuality shows that it is necessary to explore first the ontological issues of virtual objects. Only these issues will solve the mystery of the creation and existence of virtual objects. The consideration of these issues are suppressed by the fact that contemporary philosophy has removed both metaphysics and, with-it, ontology. That is why, and for reasons for reasons of substantive accuracy, I show how traditional ontological and ontologically inspiring approaches are—when modified— promising candidates for exploring the nature of virtual objects, first of all, problems of their existence and creation.

Keywords: virtuality, virtual object, virtual reality, representation in computer sciences.




Andrzej Kiepas

Institute of Education and Communication Research, Silesian University of Technology, ul. Hutnicza 9, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland.

E-mail: andrzej.kiepas@us.edu.pl





The article focuses on selected problems which have now appeared and fall under the ideas “industry 4.0” and “society 5.0”, namely on anthropological issues. Changes in the relationships between man and technology based on trust lead to an increase of the role of the technological factor in these relations. Other aspects of the analyzed changes concern the new requirements of the responsibility and changes of human subjectivity and rationality. The future of man appears to be an area of uncertainty related to inter alia the conditions of functioning and living in the order of the post-digital world.

Keywords: industry 4.0, society 5.0, subjectivity, post-digital world.




Beata Witkowska-Maksimczuk

Warsaw University of Technology, Pl. Politechniki 1, 00-661 Warsaw, Poland.

E-mail: bwitkows@ans.pw.edu.pl





The article presents the phenomenon of increasing sharing in-formations for free on the Internet and the contemporary development of gift economy in the form of a movement most often called cybercommunism. The article points out two basic attitudes in treating information. According to the first one, information should be treated as a commodity to which property rights can be attributed and which is subject to market play. This involves such issues as copyright, fees, licenses and other ways of protecting the interests of market players. The second attitude is to treat valuable information as a common good, often with a moral imperative to share it (to varying degrees Open Source and Open Acces, the idea of copyleft, DIY, P2P network, YouTube, The Pirate Bay domain etc.). Since every concept or movement proclaiming a community of goods is called communism (in a broader sense of the word, in a narrower sense it is a specific political system, e.g. the Soviet Union), today we are dealing with digital communism on the Internet. Some researchers (Firer-Blaess, Fuchs) point to Wikipedia as an example. The Internet encyclopedia operates on the basis of principles that go beyond the capitalist way of production and represent an informational-communist way of production: in the subjective dimension, it is a cooperative work and in the objective dimension, a shared ownership of the means of production. The text also presents the division of ethics into an abstract and concrete one, applied to the behaviour of network users. If someone within the framework of an abstract ethics preaches the principle of “You will not pirate.” (copying and distributing illegally) is a corresponding principle of specific ethics that says “You will not pirate unless O1 or O2…or he.” In practice, concrete ethics push many Internet users to treat Internet resources as a common good, from which everyone can draw according to their own needs. Digital communism can be treated, on the one hand, as a partially implemented idea and, on the other, as a postulate. From an axiological point of view, this postulate would be connected with the Internet implementation of equality (access to resources for everyone) and freedom (access to all information).

Keywords: digital communism, cybercommunism, information ownership, concrete ethics, abstract ethics, community of goods.




Jacek Gurczyński

Institute of Philosophy, Marie Curie-Skłodowska University, Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej 4, 20-031 Lublin, Poland.

E-mail: jacek.gurczynski@umcs.lublin.pl





The paper tries to defend the thesis that it is impossible to decide upon moral issues without any references to the ontology of the world we live in. An illustrative example of the main argumentation line is the choice made by Cypher—a second plan character in the movie Matrix. Cypher decides to betray human rebels fighting against machines for freedom and, as a reward, accepts affluent life in the virtual reality. His choice seems to be superficially reprehensible because of the abandonment of the real world and authentic life. However, one can argue that the dichotomy between the real and virtual world is seeming. By choosing the virtual reality Cypher decided to act in a world which, like the real world, makes it possible to be a moral subject and enables authentic experience. The difference between both the worlds lies in the type of determination limiting any conscious subject. Cypher prefers to live in a world determined by the algorithm of Matrix more than in a world where his behaviour is determined by genes and other biological factors.

Keywords: free will, biological determinism, relativism, semantic anti-realism, ontology of the virtual reality, values in the virtual reality.




Paweł Polak

Faculty of Philosophy of the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Crocow, ul. Kanonicza 9, 31-002 Crocow, Poland.

E-mail: pawel.polak@upjp2.edu.pl





Computational modeling plays an important role in the methodology of contemporary science. The epistemological role of modeling and simulations leads to questions about a possible use of this method in philosophy. Attempts to use some mathematical tools to formulate philosophical concepts trace back to Spinoza and Newton. Newtonian natural philosophy became an example of successful use of mathematical thinking to describe the fundamental level of nature. Newton’s approach has initiated a new scientific field of research in physics and at the same time his system has become a source of new philosophical considerations about physical reality. According to Michael Heller, some physical theories may be treated as the formalizations of philosophical conceptions. Computational modeling may be an extension of this idea; this is what I would like to present in the article. I also consider computational modeling in philosophy as a source of new philosophical metaphors; this idea has been proposed in David J. Bolter’s conception of defining technology. The consideration leads to the following conclusion: In the methodology of philosophy significant changes have been taking place; the new approach do not make traditional methods obsolete, it is rather a new analytical tools for philosophy and a source of inspiring metaphors.

Keywords: Computational modeling, methodology of philosophy, defining technology.




Paweł Stacewicz

Warsaw University of Technology, Pl. Politechniki 1, 00-661 Warsaw, Poland.

E-mail: p.stacewicz@ans.pw.edu.pl





In this paper we show how formal computer science concepts—such as encoding, algorithm or computability—can be interpreted philosophically, including ontologically and epistemologically. Such interpretations lead to questions and problems, the working solutions of which constitute some form of pre-philosophical worldview. In this work we focus on questions inspired by the IT distinction between digitality and analogicity, which has its mathematical origin in the mathematical distinction between discreteness and continuity. These include the following questions: 1) Is the deep structure of physical reality digital or analog, 2) does the hu man mind resemble a more digital or analog computational system, 3) does the answer to the second question give us a cognitively fruitful insight into the cognitive limitations of the mind? As a particularly important basis for the above questions, we consider the fact that the computational power (i.e., the range of solvable problems) of some types of analog computations is greater than that of digital computations.

Keywords: information, digitality, analogicity, computing power, computational worldview.




Sławomir Leciejewski

Institute of Philosophy, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Szamarzewskiego 89 c, 60-568 Poznań, Poland.

E-mail: slaaw@amu.edu.pl





In the paper the phenomenon of big data is presented. I pay my special attention to the relation of this phenomenon to research work in experimental sciences. I search for answers to two questions. First, do the research methods proposed within the paradigm big data can be applied in experimental sciences? Second, does applying the research methods subject to the big data paradigm lead, in consequence, to a new understanding of science?

Keywords: big data, experimental sciences, philosophy of science, methodology of science.