Symbolic Systems Forum - Josh Tenenbaum

Josh Tenenbaum
Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, MIT,
and Thomas A. Wasow Visiting Scholar in Symbolic Systems, Stanford


Towards a computational understanding of human common sense: Modeling the structure, function and acquisition of intuitive theories


Human beings organize and interpret their experience through the of large-scale systems of abstract knowledge.  These systems resemble scientific theories in certain ways and are often referred to as "intuitive theories" or "folk theories", as in "intuitive physics" or "folk psychology".  A long-term goal of cognitive science is to explain how these theories are structured, how they are used and how they are learned.  Likewise, a major goal of AI is to capture these theories in computational terms, in order to endow machines with human-like common sense.  I will give an overview of how cognitive scientists have been using a range of computational tools from recent and classic AI research, integrating these ideas in novel ways and adding new ones to the mix, in the service of reverse-engineering people's intuitive theories.  I will also discuss some lessons and challenges for engineering this kind of knowledge in future AI systems.

Thursday, October 28, 2010. 4:15 PM.
Approximate duration of 1 hour(s).
460-126 (Map)
General Public
Lecture / Reading
Symbolic Systems Program

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