F. Multi-disciplinary research
(RFI question 8)

Last updated July 28, 2016

Most of the research areas in Section D cannot be achieved by AI researchers alone. Collaboration with experts in multiple disciplines -- such as psychology, philosophy, sociology, art, regulation, and law -- will be crucial. In addition, there is an important role for professional associations with industry-specific knowledge to play in informing AI applications. To this end, IBM is in the process of creating a network of several academic centers to jumpstart the scientific ecosystem.

Building AI systems that support personal and professional decision making for all disciplines and occupations is inherently multidisciplinary. Decision-making is not simply a matter of having information, since most decision-making includes working with the preferences and knowledge of others (e.g., family members in personal experience, and other occupations in professional practice). Professional associations can develop associated bodies of knowledge and certifications, including intelligent tutoring systems that help novices on career pathways to greater expertise.

Students and Disciplines:Building AI systems to assist researchers in all academic disciplines from arts and humanitiestosciences and engineering will require working with experts from those multiple disciplines. Disciplines have associated bodies of knowledge and certification criteria. AI researchers will need to work with educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs on developing cognitive assistants to help learners to follow alternative career pathways, moving from academic disciplines to entry level jobs to additional occupational transitions.

Professionals and Occupations: Building AI systems to assist employees in all occupations from accounting to x-ray technicians will require working with experts in all occupations. O*NET online an online database of nearly one thousand occupations, and is a source of information for building AI systems that can be cognitive assistants to professionals to scale expertise, and boost creativity and productivity of workers. Occupations have associated bodies of knowledge and certification criteria.

Data Sets for Professional Associations: AI systems can help professional association support the career development of their members. Professional associations for academic disciplines and industry occupations often maintain data sets for bodies of knowledge and certifications of skill levels.Increasingly professionals must work on multidisciplinary project teams to solve problems with no known solutions. These project experiences are required to move from novice top expert. Ten thousands hours of practice is typical of novice-to-expert transitions, and this is about four years of work or two million minutes of experience. Often novice-to-expert studies are for people involved in practice for cognitive or physical activities, such as chess and other games or playing a musical instrument, and not practice in collaborative or multidisciplinary activities.

Advancing this novice-to-expert research for collaborating professionals, engineers, managers, social and behavioral scientists, legal, accounting, communications, etc., will help advance understanding of T-shaped professionals. T-shaped professionals with depth and breadth better at teamwork and more adaptable than I-shaped professionals who only have depth.

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