Toward a New Science of Common Sense


  • Ronald J. Brachman Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute (at Cornell Tech) and Cornell University, New York, NY
  • Hector J. Levesque University of Toronto, Toronto, ON



Common Sense, Commonsense Knowledge, Commonsense Reasoning, Autonomous Systems, Artificial General Intelligence, Expertise


Common sense has always been of interest in AI, but has rarely taken center stage. Despite its mention in one of John McCarthy's earliest papers and years of work by dedicated researchers, arguably no AI system with a serious amount of general common sense has ever emerged. Why is that? What's missing? Examples of AI systems' failures of common sense abound, and they point to AI's frequent focus on expertise as the cause. Those attempting to break the brittleness barrier, even in the context of modern deep learning, have tended to invest their energy in large numbers of small bits of commonsense knowledge. But all the commonsense knowledge fragments in the world don't add up to a system that actually demonstrates common sense in a human-like way. We advocate examining common sense from a broader perspective than in the past. Common sense is more complex than it has been taken to be and is worthy of its own scientific exploration.




How to Cite

Brachman, R. J., & Levesque, H. J. (2022). Toward a New Science of Common Sense. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 36(11), 12245-12249.