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Mechanisms of Madness: Computationally (de)Constructing Delusions

About the project

Delusions are an unsolved problem in the mathematical modelling of mental processes. They are defined as false beliefs that are held with absolute conviction and cannot be changed by countervailing evidence. Delusions are particularly difficult to describe formally (i.e., mathematically) because of the tension between their emergence and their maintenance. While the emergence of a false belief requires jumping to conclusions (being too quick to believe), the maintenance of the same belief requires stubbornly resisting to form new conclusions (being too slow to believe). In our project “Mechanisms of Madness", we will attempt to address this by developing formal models of delusionality that can be used to simulate delusional thinking in artificially intelligent agents.

The project is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation.