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Knowledge without Understanding

Joo Serk Lee
November 01, 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) introduces new challenges into a world already reeling from mis- and dis-information

The International Baccalaureate syllabus includes a wonderful education on the “theory of knowledge,” where the tripartite definition of knowledge as “justified true belief” is explored (and criticized).  Over the past two decades social media and associated technologies have unleashed powerful forces that have given rise to a groundswell of justified beliefs; unfortunately, many of them were demonstrably not true.  AI threatens to add to our challenge of separating the real from the fake by arriving at (debatably) true beliefs via Byzantine algorithms that challenge whether we are justified in believing them.

For centuries, we have relied on the scientific method to establish our foundational belief systems.  The proven process of logically testing hypotheses to arrive at conclusions has been fundamental to human progress.  However, we have now reached an inflection point where the conclusion matters more than the process behind it.  Does it matter, then, that a belief is held because of a trusted influencer, a well-intentioned but fumbled application of the scientific method, or an AI algorithm? In all of these examples, we entrust an “expeditor” (a person, a news feed, an AI) to accelerate our acquisition of “knowledge”. Unfortunately, in our haste to believe,  we dismantle the safeguards that ensure it is true, arriving at conclusions that we cannot explain.

These are the unique challenges that we will face in an increasingly complex world grappling with the realities of unbridled technology and complex human needs that are influenced by it.  We are all the test subjects. For more on “real” and “fake” in this complex world visit https://labs.sogeti.com/research-topics/real-fake/

About the author

Vice President | USA
Joo Serk Lee is a Vice President in Sogeti USA and serves as Sogeti USA’s Digital Transformation service line leader. He in an Enterprise Architect by trade and has spent much of his 15-year career partnering with clients, in sectors ranging from Marketing Services to Insurance, to craft major digital and technology transformation programs. Joo is passionate about the smaller, faster layer of a dual speed IT organization, including systems of customer and employee engagement, Marketing, CRM, Mobility, emerging technologies (IoT) and predictive analytics – technologies that power engaging and contextual experiences.

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