Mendacity and deception: Uses and abuses of common ground

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


The concept of common ground - the mutual understanding of context and conventions - is central to philosophical accounts of mendacity; its use is to determine the meaning of linguistic expressions and the significance of physical acts, and to distinguish certain statements as conveying a conventional promise, warranty, or expectation of sincerity. Lying necessarily involves an abuse of common ground, namely the willful violation of conventions regulating sincerity. The 'lying machine' is an AI system that purposely abuses common ground as an effective means for practicing mendacity and lesser deceptions. The machine's method is to conceive and articulate sophisms - perversions of normative reason and communication - crafted to subvert its audience's beliefs. Elements of this paper (i) explain the described use of common ground in philosophical accounts of mendacity, (ii) motivate arguments and illusions as stratagem for deception, (iii) encapsulate the lying machine's design and operation, and (iv) summarize human-subject experiments that confirm the lying machine's arguments are, in fact, deceptive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBuilding Representations of Common Ground with Intelligent Agents - Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium, Technical Report
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Event2011 AAAI Fall Symposium - Arlington, VA, United States
Duration: Nov 4 2011Nov 6 2011

Publication series

NameAAAI Fall Symposium - Technical Report


Other2011 AAAI Fall Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityArlington, VA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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