Glimpse at the metaphysics of Bongard problems
- August 2000
- Artificial Intelligence 121(1-2):251-270
- Project: FARG architectures
Abstract and Figures
Bongard problems present an outstanding challenge to artificial intelligence. They consist of visual pattern understanding problems on which the task of the pattern perceiver is to find an abstract aspect of distinction between two classes of figures. This paper examines the philosophical question of whether objects in Bongard problems can be ascribed an a priori, metaphysical, existence—the ontological question of whether objects, and their boundaries, come pre-defined, independently of any understanding or context. This is an essential issue, because it determines whether a priori symbolic representations can be of use for solving Bongard problems. The resulting conclusion of this analysis is that in the case of Bongard problems there can be no units ascribed an a priori existence—and thus the objects dealt with in any specific problem must be found by solution methods (rather than given to them). This view ultimately leads to the emerging alternatives to the philosophical doctrine of metaphysical realism.
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