The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Machine Common Sense (MCS) program is promoting efforts to “mimic” common sense in machines. Its overarching goal is to support the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) from its current narrow version toward an envisaged general one that simulates common sense. An issue it contends is impeding efforts is the challenge of articulating and encoding the phenomenon’s “obscure but pervasive nature.” This article by Joaquin Trujillo endeavors to clarify these alleged characteristics of common sense phenomenologically. It (1) introduces the DARPA MCS program, (2) reviews the cognitive psychology of common sense and highlights its strengths and weaknesses assessed against the prospect of machine common sense and phenomenologically; (3) lays out the phenomenology of common sense and, from those findings, (4) responds to the question of common-sense’s obscurity and pervasiveness.
Paul Klee, Die Zwitscher-Maschine (1922)