Tech Report

The Naive Psychology Manifesto

This paper argues that artificial intelligence has failed to address the whole problem of common sense, and that this is the cause of a recent stagnation in the field. The big gap is in common sense---or naive---psychology, our natural human ability to see one another as minds rather than as bodies. This is especially important to artificial intelligence because AI must eventually enable us humans to see computers not as grey boxes, but as minds.

The paper proposes that AI study exactly this---what is going on in people's heads that makes them see others as having minds. To illustrate this, it describes three models for common sense psychology; each of which illustrates some aspect of the human ability to see people as minds. The paper concludes by drawing some conclusions about where and how AI can adapt to deal with these issues and to provide a new and stronger foundation for future research.


A modified version of this paper has been submitted to Informatica.

ID: kmi-95-07

Date: 1995

Author(s): Stuart Watt


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