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Cognitively Informed Artificial Intelligence: Insights From Natural Intelligence
Michael Mozer · Brenden Lake · Angela Yu

Sat Dec 09 08:00 AM -- 06:30 PM (PST) @ 104 A
Event URL: https://sites.google.com/view/ciai2017/home »

The goal of this workshop is to bring together cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, and AI researchers to discuss opportunities for improving machine learning by leveraging our scientific understanding of human perception and cognition. There is a history of making these connections: artificial neural networks were originally motivated by the massively parallel, deep architecture of the brain; considerations of biological plausibility have driven the development of learning procedures; and architectures for computer vision draw parallels to the connectivity and physiology of mammalian visual cortex. However, beyond these celebrated examples, cognitive science and neuroscience has fallen short of its potential to influence the next generation of AI systems. Areas such as memory, attention, and development have rich theoretical and experimental histories, yet these concepts, as applied to AI systems so far, only bear a superficial resemblance to their biological counterparts.

The premise of this workshop is that there are valuable data and models from cognitive science that can inform the development of intelligent adaptive machines, and can endow learning architectures with the strength and flexibility of the human cognitive architecture. The structures and mechanisms of the mind and brain can provide the sort of strong inductive bias needed for machine-learning systems to attain human-like performance. We conjecture that this inductive bias will become more important as researchers move from domain-specific tasks such as object and speech recognition toward tackling general intelligence and the human-like ability to dynamically reconfigure cognition in service of changing goals. For ML researchers, the workshop will provide access to a wealth of data and concepts situated in the context of contemporary ML. For cognitive scientists, the workshop will suggest research questions that are of critical interest to ML researchers.

The workshop will focus on three interconnected topics of particular relevance to ML:

(1) Learning and development. Cognitive capabilities expressed early in a child’s development are likely to be crucial for bootstrapping adult learning and intelligence. Intuitive physics and intuitive psychology allow the developing organism to build an understanding of the world and of other agents. Additionally, children and adults often demonstrate “learning-to-learn,” where previous concepts and skills form a compositional basis for learning new concepts and skills.

(2) Memory. Human memory operates on multiple time scales, from memories that literally persist for the blink of an eye to those that persist for a lifetime. These different forms of memory serve different computational purposes. Although forgetting is typically thought of as a disadvantage, the ability to selectively forget/override irrelevant knowledge in nonstationary environments is highly desirable.

(3) Attention and Decision Making. These refer to relatively high-level cognitive functions that allow task demands to purposefully control an agent’s external environment and sensory data stream, dynamically reconfigure internal representation and architecture, and devise action plans that strategically trade off multiple, oft-conflicting behavioral objectives.

The long-term aims of this workshop are:

* to promote work that incorporates insights from human cognition to suggest novel and improved AI architectures;

* to facilitate the development of ML methods that can better predict human behavior; and

* to support the development of a field of ‘cognitive computing’ that is more than a marketing slogan一a field that improves on both natural and artificial cognition by synergistically advancing each and integrating their strengths in complementary manners.

Author Information

Michael Mozer (Google Brain / U. Colorado)
Brenden Lake (New York University)
Angela Yu (UC San Diego)

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