The University of Sussex

Artificial Intelligence and social forecasting

Margaret A. Boden

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the study of how to write programs enabling computers to do things that would require intelligence if done by people, and it could engage with social forecasting in two ways. First, it is part of the overall social-technological context within which forecasters work. Commercial AI-programs will affect markets and life-styles; and advice-giving "expert" systems will raise novel legal, social, and psychological problems. Second, AI-programs might be used for making the social forecasts. Unlike the (essentially quantitative) computer models used for this purpose today, they could reason and explain themselves) in verbal form. Writing an expert system requires clarification of the theories, assumptions, and "rule-of-thumb" inferences concerned. It would be easier to identify the inherent moral-political bias than it is in models comprising sets of differential equations.

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