Is epistemic logic useful for agent foundations?
The title isn’t a rhetorical question; I’m actually looking for answers. This summer, I’ll have the opportunity to attend a summer school on logic, language and information. Whether or not I go depends to a significant extent on whether what they’ll be teaching—particularly epistemic logic, also some other topics in logic and language—will be useful for AI safety research. Here is a summary of epistemic logics, and here are the courses I’ll be able to take. I’ve already taken classes in first-order logic, but right now I’m uncertain about the value of doing these extra courses.
Reasons to think learning epistemic logic will be useful for agent foundations:
MIRI’s work relies heavily on high-level concepts in logic
Epistemic logic is particularly concerned with statements about knowledge and belief which seem very relevant to reasoning about agents
Learning about epistemic logic is probably useful for thinking about other forms of logic
Reasons to think it won’t be useful:
As far as I can tell, it doesn’t appear on MIRI’s research guide, nor in any of their papers, nor in the sequences
It seems like epistemic logic is mostly non-probabilistic and is talking about a fundamentally different sort of knowledge from probabilistic Bayesian knowledge, which increases my credence that it’s the sort of philosophy which isn’t going to be of much practical use