Individualization and Artificial Intelligence

Jim Mason
2 min readMar 31, 2023

Would you want an experienced self-driving car or the latest general version?

Photo by Eric Krull on Unsplash

The recent development of many artificial cognitive agents, such as robotic devices and large-language models for text generation, raises an interesting general question about the value of individualization.

We humans, taking ourselves as a pinnacle of an “intelligent” species, are very much aware of our own existence as individuals with limited existence in time and space. We are all similar in many ways, but we are all different in the specific ways that we and our brains have grown and developed since our conception, and those differences are exhibited in our behavior.

Digital computer software, in contrast, can be copied exactly, and those copies can exist across larger reaches of time and space than we humans can. Or a single copy located on a server machine somewhere can communicate electronically with many other cognitive agents, including people, at vast distances apart.

So the question arises: What are the advantages and disadvantages of individualization of cognitive agents?

To explore that question in a more concrete way, it is interesting to consider the example of self-driving cars.



Jim Mason

I study language, cognition, and humans as social animals. You can support me by joining Medium at