Wisdom in the News

Artificial Wisdom

Beyond Intelligence

UCSD Health Sciences

From asking Siri how to get to the nearest grocery store to machines reading medical scans, artificial intelligence (AI) is part of our everyday lives, affecting how we live, work and receive medical care. 

“The ultimate goal of AI is to develop technologies that will best be able to serve and improve humanity, but the term ‘intelligence’ does not best represent the technological needs of advancing society,” said Dilip V. Jeste, MD, senior associate dean for the Center of Healthy Aging and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine.  “It is ‘wisdom,’ rather than intelligence, that is associated with greater well-being, happiness, health and perhaps even longevity of the individual and society.” 

Robots are an excellent example of a tool delivering AI or AW, Jeste said. An AI robot, such as Alexa, can do a complicated calculation very quickly, such as finding the nearest restaurant offering take-out and provide that information to the human user. However, an AW robot would serve as a personal assistant, friend or coach per se, depending upon its human owner’s needs at the time. 

“It will tell the person not to drive after drinking three glasses of wine at a party and call Lyft to drive him or her home. At the same time, it will send an alert to that person’s home, so the family would be waiting for that individual,” said Jeste. “Another time it could provide encouragement to go out for a run or will chat with the person to reduce loneliness.”   

In a recent study published in International Psychogeriatrics, Jeste, lead author of the study, and his research team explored the technological advancements needed to achieve AW. 

“We reviewed the constructs of human intelligence and human wisdom in terms of their basic components, neurobiology and relationship to aging,” he said. 

The researchers found AW systems need to be able to a) learn from experience and self-correct; b) exhibit compassionate, unbiased and ethical behaviors; and c) discern human emotions and help human users to regulate their emotions and make wise decisions.

“Loneliness is a major problem affecting all ages and increases the risk of suicide and opioid abuse. Wise robots can provide more than companionship or entertainment. They can provide psychotherapy to their owner. Obviously, they can’t replace human therapists, but they will be available 24/7, and will detect early signs of depression to prevent worsening of mood,” said Jeste.

“Many people today don’t have access to health care and this results in potentially avoidable health care emergencies. Wise robots will be able to reduce this risk significantly.” 

Jeste said close collaboration among computer scientists, neuroscientists, mental health experts and ethicists is necessary for developing AW technologies. “Just as human intelligence and AI have helped further the understanding and usefulness of each other, human wisdom and AW can aid in promoting each other’s growth.”

Read the article: UCSD Health Sciences. (2020, July 9). Artificial wisdom: Beyond intelligence. Retrieved from https://ucsdhealthsciences.tumblr.com/post/623203901021323264/artificial-wisdom-beyond-intelligence-from