Thursday, April 11, 2013

Midwest Undergraduate Cognitive Science Conference

Undergraduate Conference in Cognitive Science
Sunday, May 14
University Club, IMU
20 minutes sessions start at 9:00 am and continue until 4:00 pm

Conference schedule is posted at
The talk and poster sessions are open to everyone.

Melanie Mitchell will deliver her keynote at 1:00 pm, in the University Club Faculty Room <> at the Indiana Memorial Union.

Title: Artificial Intelligence and the "Barrier of Meaning"
Abstract: I wonder whether or when AI will ever crash the barrier of meaning. So wrote the mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota in 1985. Nearly three decades later, crashing this barrier remains AI's supreme unmet challenge. To what extent do our most impressive AI programs understand and use concepts that are imbued with genuine meaning, as opposed to being empty syntactic shells? With recent advances such as IBM's Watson, affective robots, and the possibility of whole brain emulation, is AI any closer to overcoming this ultimate hurdle?  My talk will elucidate the barrier of meaning, speculate on what AI will need in order to cross it, and explain why we are still far from this goal. My discussion will touch on the surprising role of analogy and metaphor in human construction of meaning, and on my work to create programs that perceive meaning by making their own analogies.