An AI Investigation of Citation's Epistemological Role

2001-01-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Kevin D. Ashley Bruce M. McLaren
This paper describes how we used an AI model for retrieving ethics cases to investigate empirically the epistemological contributions of a decision-makers' citing cases and code provisions in justifying decisions. In practical ethics, like law, it is impossible to define abstract principles intensionally so that they may be applied deductively. After investigating hundreds of professional ethics case opinions, we hypothesized that the decision-makers’ explanations extensionally defined principles over time, in effect, operationalizing them. We constructed SIROCCO, a system for retrieving principles and past ethics cases. We used this computational model to conduct an ablation experiment concerning a core set of operationalization techniques. This paper presents empirical evidence that the operationalization information supports predictions of the relevant principles and past cases more accurately than competing approaches that do not use such information.

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