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Quit Your Technology Job and Get a Humanities Ph.D.

Should you quit your technology job and get a humanities degree? In this talk at Stanford University, serial entrepreneur Damon Horowitz argues that you should. Horowitz is a philosophy professor and recently joined Google as “In-House Philosopher / Director of Engineering, heading development of several initiatives involving social and search.”

I wanted to better understand what it was about how we were defining intelligence that was leading us astray: What were we failing to understand about the nature of thought in our attempts to build thinking machines?

And, slowly, I realized that the questions I was asking were philosophical questions—about the nature of thought, the structure of language, the grounds of meaning. So if I really hoped to make major progress in AI, the best place to do this wouldn’t be another AI lab. If I really wanted to build a better thinker, I should go study philosophy.

Thus, about a decade ago, I quit my technology job to get a Ph.D. in philosophy. And that was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Read the text of the talk.

(h/t Open Culture, Searching For Knowledge)