Kantian AGI Test

  1. Pick an object near you.
  2. Make a list of 20 judgements about that object (e.g The table is heavy; The table is unfinished; The table is light in color, etc.)
  3. Once you have completed the list of judgements make a second list which organizes those judgements into categories pertaining to what cognitive psychologists would call the sensory modalities: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch (e.g “the table is unfinished” and “the table is light in color” would both be judgments arrived at through sight, and thus should be organized as such. The judgement “the table is heavy” would belong to sense category ‘touch’ as you must attempt to lift the table to approximate its weight).
  4. Once you have your second list then begin writing down possible inferences you could make as products of your judgements (e.g I shouldn’t carry the table up the stairs by myself because it is heavy; The table will demand two or more people to move because it is heavy; I should finish the table; I should use a coaster for drinks as this table is light in color and will stain if I don’t, etc.)
  5. Once you have completed your list of possible inferences make a second list of how you may arrive at the same inferences but through different sense modalities (e.g I shouldn’t carry the table up the stairs by myself because it looks heavy; I can feel that there is no lacquer, or stain on the table and as such it is porous—it will absorb whatever is spilled on it, therefore I should finish the table, etc.)

This test can be used to explicate a number of different things.

  • We can use Kantian AGI tests to teach Kant’s insistence on multi-sensory processing.
  • We can teach modern cognitive psychology that places similar significance on the sense modalities (For instance: Lawrence Barsalou’s work on conceptual processing ; Chris Eliasmith’s computational neuroscience approaches to cognition; Paul Thagard’s Philosophy of Mind, etc).
  • We can provide an intuitive understanding of how artificial general intelligence demands multiple networks (in this case sensory modalities) trained by different kinds of information about the same object(s).
  • We can encourage students to imagine alternative senses, how they could interface, and how that would give way to better judgements, finally to better inferences. The Kantian AGI test can thus be thought of as a thought experiment that enables creativity in the domain of thinking possible intelligences.
  • By having students complete the fifth step we can additionally provide an intuitive understanding of how the different sense modalities pick up each other’s slack—demonstrating how robustness is an important feature of intelligence and how multi-sensory processes affords such robustness.
  • We can use Kantian AGI tests to spark conversation about how parallel processing is/could be possible as each sense modality is taken to be affording different judgements and different inferences all of which are optimal relative to how well they can orchestrate.

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