Did you know that Google has an “in-house philosopher”? Horowitz shares his personal story of self-transformation in this article for the Chronicle of Higher Education. With a background in software engineering, he had developed a career in the world of information technology. He had established his own business engineering “natural language processing” components for Artificial Intelligence systems. (Natural language processing is the part of AI, usually based on formal logic, that is supposed to make computers understand us).
But his challenging encounters with the limitations of AI led him to broader philosophical questions about “the nature of thought, the structure of language, [and] the grounds of meaning.” Horowitz thus left the world of IT to do a PhD in Philosophy and has today become a sort of evangelist for appreciation of the humanities in the world of technology. He makes an argument for the value of leaving technology to do a degree in the humanities (it is an article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed after all), but even if you are not sold on that idea, his point extends to a larger argument about importance of bringing a humanities perspective to the world of technology which is bad off for its lack:
From Technologist to Philosopher
– Tom McDonald