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The topics of our website highly overlap with the topics of CrossValidated and Data Science, but also with the topics of Computer Science SE, Stack Overflow and Philosophy SE (in fact, they even have an AI tag with currently 145 questions, while we barely have more philosophical questions, 169).

The differences between our site, CrossValidated and Data Science seem to be the focus, the users and their background, and certain topics. I think that a new and growing website, like ours, is attractive to certain people (including me) because it may represent an opportunity to show their abilities to others and maybe rule the website, while, in websites like CrossValidated, where there are already many established users, this may be more difficult. But does it really make sense to have all these separate websites (especially, CrossValidated, Data Science and ours), only because of these small differences?

It may happen that users on one of these sites may not be able to (properly) answer a question on their own website, but users on other related sites may be able to answer such a question. In those cases, the asker may not receive the help that, in theory, is available, but not directly accessible.

In order to understand if our website deserves to live, I think we need to enumerate the topics and goals of our website that really differentiate (or not) us from the other websites. Maybe we should really focus on the topics that differentiate us from the other websites. What do you think?

Topics

Here's a preliminary list of such topics (I am using the tags below only to emphasize that these are on-topic here, but I am referring to the topics)

For completeness, maybe we should also list the topics that are on-topic both here and on the other sites.

Feel free to add more topics and goals that distinguish (or not) us from especially CrossValidated and Data Science.

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AI has always been an interdisciplinary field. It therefore should not surprise us that AI.SE's content overlaps with that of other established stacks. I think this is essentially okay.

Perhaps as an analogy: The SoftwareEngineering.SE allows programming questions, but not of the same flavor as the StackOverflow main site. If you want to know how to do X in language Y, you visit StackOverflow. If you want to know whether to do X using language Y, you are better off asking on SoftwareEngineering.SE

If you want to know how to train a deep neural network in Python, you should visit DataScience.SE. If you want to know whether to train a deep neural network in Python (or, use any of the other various approaches in AI), you should visit AI.SE.

I think this means that a tag-based approach is the wrong one. We are likely to have questions that are about, say, statistical learning theory. This is part of AI. It is maybe part of Data Science, but I'd say it's a stretch. It is maybe part of statistics, but certainly not conventional statistics. It is definitely part of AI, and has been a core part for decades. Nonetheless, it encapsulates topics like support vector machines that are widely used in Data Science. We, therefore, oughtn't to outlaw the SVM tag. I think the same kind of argument can be used for most or all duplicate tags.

I'm especially concerned to see the machine-learning tag highlighted in the duplicates. Modern AI without machine learning is... not much.

I think if we focused only on the tags that are not present on other websites, we will not be able to claim to be about AI, and the site would (and perhaps should) then cease to exist. I think we'll do much better if we instead focus on claiming the why space.

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  • We can address futurism (one of the leading drivers of misinformation about AI!) and serve an important function of myth-busting.

  • We deal with social impacts in general, which other related stacks don't address.

  • We can take pyschology/cognitive/neuroscience questions related to AI, which may unwelcome on those stacks.

  • We can treate AI milestones in general, not just those related to statistical AI.

re: Philosophy, although we have few questions formally containing that tag, a search of the most voted SE:AI questions reveals the subject to be popular and well-treated on this Stack. (Compare to the relative lack of activity for AI questions on SE: Philosophy, especially in recent years.) SE:Philosophy also lack a "neoluddism" tag, which is the more relevant philosophy tag, in that it relates to material effects of AI implementation, including bias.

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Does it really make sense to have all these separate websites (especially, CrossValidated, Data Science and ours), only because of these small differences

No, it doesn't make any sense, because whatever people are saying on meta, in practice if you look at the questions posted on AI.SE, over 90% of them are on-topic on CrossValidated and Data Science. This creates plenty of crossnetwork question duplicates, which personally kills my motivation to participate.

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