Jonathan Zittain uses the term "intellectual debt" to describe an approach to scientific discovery that begins with answers—uncovered through trial and error—and then seeks to establish explanations for them. He argues that intellectual debt is growing with increased reliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning to find correlative answers to questions in the absence of a theoretical framework to underpin them.



Zittrain, Jonathan. “The Hidden Costs of Automated Thinking.” The New Yorker, July 23, 2019.