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Donald Peterson discusses the challenge of leveraging the benefits of cognitive technology

by Richard Meckien - published Aug 19, 2019 05:35 PM - - last modified Aug 22, 2019 10:45 AM
Rights: Original version in Portuguese by Fernanda Rezende.

Vida na Era cognitivaThe relationship between humans and machines in the age of cognitive technology, and its challenge of bringing more benefits than harm to areas such as education, work, business, and health will be the theme of Donald Peterson's seminar on August 26, at 10:30 am, at the IEA. Life in the Cognitive Era will be moderated by engineer Antonio Mauro Saraiva, chairman of the Institute's research committee, and will be broadcast live over the internet.

The advance of connectivity, artificial intelligence, and robots, among others, has led to the need for a significant process of requalification and redefinition of the roles played in various sectors of society, explains Peterson, who has been a visiting professor at the IEA since June, 2019. A general risk is that AI and robotics replace human jobs thus causing human unemployment. A particular risk is that this replacement is selective, e.g. replacing manual jobs which already mean low-income.

The researcher argues that all technologies are "ditropic" and can produce good and bad effects, or even both concomitantly, according to the way they are used. For his speech at the upcoming event, Peterson will use the analytical framework of "epiduction," a context-sensitive form of reasoning. The physical substrate of "epiduction" is the executive function primarily associated with the prefrontal cortex of the human brain.

Peterson's work and background are in logic, philosophy, psychology, and computer science. Until last year, he was a full professor of Computer Science at Shantou University in China.