Carlotta Piscopo, PhD
Post-Doctoral Researcher

IRIDIA - CP 194/6
Université libre de Bruxelles
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50
1050 Brussels - Belgium

Voice: (+32)-2-650 27 29
Fax: (+32)-2-650 27 15

Carlotta Piscopo

I am a post-doctoral researcher at IRIDIA.


Artificial intelligence, philosophy of science and engineering.

Research Interests

My main research interests are in the domain of artificial intelligence. In particular, I work on the philosophical and epistemological foundations of this domain. I have recently published a book on the debate concerning the adequacy of probability for dealing with uncertainty in artificial intelligence. I am also interested in philosophy of science and in particular in the status of scientific theories and in the realism/anti-realism debate. I investigate the issues related with the construction and the selection of scientific models on the basis of empirical evidence, the problem of induction, and the relation between metaphysics and science. Finally, I am interested in philosophy and history of engineering and technology with a focus on innovation and on the source of inspiration for invention. Recently, I became interested in the methodological and epistemological foundations of cooperative and distributed problem solving in swarm robotics.

Public Lectures

Poster Speaker

C. Piscopo (2014).   De l’incertitude des machines: rôle stratégique et enjeux épistémologiques de l’intelligence artificielle.   Académie royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Art de Belgique. Collège Belgique. April 3, 2014. Lecture on the societal impact of artificial intelligence and its innovative applications.




C. Piscopo (2013).   The Metaphysical Nature of the Non-adequacy Claim: An Epistemological Analysis of the Debate on Probability in Artificial Intelligence.   Studies in Computational Intelligence, vol. 464. Springer, Berlin, Germany.

Synopsis: Over the last two decades, the field of artificial intelligence has experienced a separation into two schools that hold opposite opinions on how uncertainty should be treated. This separation is the result of a debate that began at the end of the 1960's when AI first faced the problem of building machines required to make decisions and act in the real world. This debate witnessed the contraposition between the mainstream school, which relied on probability for handling uncertainty, and an alternative school, which criticized the adequacy of probability in AI applications and developed alternative formalisms.

The debate has focused on the technical aspects of the criticisms raised against probability while neglecting an important element of contrast. This element is of an epistemological nature, and is therefore exquisitely philosophical. In this book, the historical context in which the debate on probability developed is presented and the key components of the technical criticisms therein are illustrated. By referring to the original texts, the epistemological element that has been neglected in the debate is analyzed in detail. Through a philosophical analysis of the epistemological element it is argued that this element is metaphysical in Popper's sense. It is shown that this element cannot be tested nor possibly disproved on the basis of experience and is therefore extra-scientific. It is established that a philosophical analysis is now compelling in order to both solve the problematic division that characterizes the uncertainty field and to secure the foundations of the field itself.   [Download Springer's flyer]

A review of my book has been published in Metascience:

Peer-reviewed Publications:


Some Selected Technical Reports:

Membership in Professional Societies

Organisational Activities

Extracurricular Activities

I practice Brazilian jiu-jitsu and I currently hold a purple belt.

Last update: May 11, 2015.