Rational Machines and Artificial Intelligence

Rational Machines and Artificial Intelligence

1st Edition - March 31, 2021

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  • Author: Tshilidzi Marwala
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128209448
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128206768

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Intelligent machines are populating our social, economic and political spaces. These intelligent machines are powered by Artificial Intelligence technologies such as deep learning. They are used in decision making. One element of decision making is the issue of rationality. Regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) require that decisions that are made by these intelligent machines are explainable. Rational Machines and Artificial Intelligence proposes that explainable decisions are good but the explanation must be rational to prevent these decisions from being challenged. Noted author Tshilidzi Marwala studies the concept of machine rationality and compares this to the rationality bounds prescribed by Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon and rationality bounds derived from the work of Nobel Laureates Richard Thaler and Daniel Kahneman. Rational Machines and Artificial Intelligence describes why machine rationality is flexibly bounded due to advances in technology. This effectively means that optimally designed machines are more rational than human beings. Readers will also learn whether machine rationality can be quantified and identify how this can be achieved. Furthermore, the author discusses whether machine rationality is subjective. Finally, the author examines whether a population of intelligent machines collectively make more rational decisions than individual machines. Examples in biomedical engineering, social sciences and the financial sectors are used to illustrate these concepts.

Key Features

  • Provides an introduction to the key questions and challenges surrounding Rational Machines, including, When do we rely on decisions made by intelligent machines? What do decisions made by intelligent machines mean? Are these decisions rational or fair? Can we quantify these decisions? and Is rationality subjective?
  • Introduces for the first time the concept of rational opportunity costs and the concept of flexibly bounded rationality as a rationality of intelligent machines and the implications of these issues on the reliability of machine decisions
  • Includes coverage of Rational Counterfactuals, group versus individual rationality, and rational markets
  • Discusses the application of Moore’s Law and advancements in Artificial Intelligence, as well as developments in the area of data acquisition and analysis technologies and how they affect the boundaries of intelligent machine rationality


Researchers and developers in Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Applied Informatics, Bioinformatics, Neural Engineering, Applied Mathematics, and Computational Intelligence

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction to Machine and Human Rationality
    2. What is Rationality?
    3. Rational Machine
    4. Flexibly-bounded rationality
    5. Rational Expectation
    6. Rational Choice
    7. Bounded Rational Counterfactual
    8. Rational Opportunity Cost
    9. Can Machines be Rational?
    10. Can Rationality be Measured?
    11. Is machine rationality subjective?
    12. Group vs. individual rationality
    13. Human vs Machine Rationality
    14. Rational Markets
    15. Human vs Machine Ethics
    16. Conclusion

    A: Data
    B: Subjectivity vs Relativity 
    C: Algorithms

Product details

  • No. of pages: 270
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2021
  • Published: March 31, 2021
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128209448
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128206768

About the Author

Tshilidzi Marwala

Dr. Tshilidzi Marwala is the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg. He was previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Johannesburg. He was Associate Professor, Full Professor, the Carl and Emily Fuchs Chair of Systems and Control Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (magna cum laude) from Case Western Reserve University, a Master of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria, PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Cambridge and a Post-Doc at Imperial College (London). He is a registered professional engineer, a Fellow of TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), the Academy of Science of South Africa, the African Academy of Sciences and the South African Academy of Engineering. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a distinguished member of the ACM. His research interests are multi-disciplinary and they include the theory and application of artificial intelligence to engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine. He has supervised 28 Doctoral students published 15 books in artificial intelligence (one translated into Chinese), over 300 papers in journals, proceedings, book chapters and magazines and holds five patents. He is an associate editor of the International Journal of Systems Science (Taylor and Francis Publishers). He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, University of California at Berkeley, Wolfson College of the University of Cambridge, Nanjing Tech University and Silesian University of Technology in Poland. His opinions have appeared in the New Scientist, The Economist, Time Magazine, BBC, CNN and the Oxford Union. Dr. Marwala is the author of Rational Machines and Artificial Intelligence from Elsevier Academic Press.

Affiliations and Expertise

Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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