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The future won’t be pretty: The nature and value of ugly, AI-designed experiments

Stuart, Michael T. (2022) The future won’t be pretty: The nature and value of ugly, AI-designed experiments. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Can an ugly experiment be a good experiment? Philosophers have identified many beautiful experiments and explored ways in which their beauty might be connected to their epistemic value. In contrast, the present chapter seeks out (and celebrates) ugly experiments. Among the ugliest are those being designed by AI algorithms. Interestingly, in the contexts where such experiments tend to be deployed, low aesthetic value correlates with high epistemic value. In other words, ugly experiments can be good. Given this, we should conclude that beauty is not generally necessary or sufficient for epistemic value, and increasing beauty will not generally tend to increase epistemic value.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Stuart, Michael T.mike.stuart.post@gmail.com0000-0002-4165-2641
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Milena Ivanova and Alice Murphy (eds). The Aesthetics of Experiment. Routledge.
Keywords: aesthetics of science; aesthetics of experiment; internal validity; artificial intelligence; beauty in science
Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Michael T. Stuart
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2022 14:03
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2022 14:03
Item ID: 21521
Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21521

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