May 7, 2024 - 4:00 pm
Bio: Professor Bruno Olshausen is a Professor in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, the School of Optometry, and has a below-the-line affiliated appointment in EECS. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems...
April 2, 2024 - 4:00 pm
Singleton Auditorium (46-3002)
Melanie Mitchell, Santa Fe Institute
Abstract: I will survey a current, heated debate in the AI research community on whether large pre-trained language models can be said to "understand" language—and the physical and social situations language encodes—in any important sense. I will describe arguments that have been made for and...
March 12, 2024 - 4:00 pm
Singleton Auditorium (46-3002)
Tom Griffiths (Princeton University)
Abstract: Recent rapid progress in the creation of artificial intelligence (AI) systems has been driven in large part by innovations in architectures and algorithms for developing large scale artificial neural networks. As a consequence, it’s natural to ask what role abstract principles of...
February 20, 2024 - 2:15 pm
Developmental psychology is notoriously reliant on certain demographics of children. A new tool is changing that. By Connie Chang There is an open secret in the study of child development: Most of what we think we know about how babies develop is actually based on a specific subset of kids—those born to families from Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (a.k.a. WEIRD) nations. The acronym was first coined in an influential...
robot hands holding a wooden maze with a worm crawling through it tying to get to an X
February 14, 2024 - 3:30 pm
by Jonathan Shaw Could an artificial neural network connected to the brain of a living animal improve its performance on a task, such as the ability to find food? A strength of biologically based intelligence is that it performs well in novel situations by applying principles learned through experience in other contexts. Artificial intelligence (AI), on the other hand, can rapidly process huge quantities of information and thus detect...
a fly on a tree link sructure
February 14, 2024 - 2:00 pm
Singleton Auditorium (46-3002)
Alexander Borst, Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Intelligence, Martinsried, Germany
*Due to the forecast weather event for Cambridge, MA on Tuesday February 13th, this talk will be held on Wednesday February 14th at 2:00PM*
Abstract: Detecting the direction of image motion is important for visual navigation, predator avoidance and prey capture, and thus essential for the survival...
February 6, 2024 - 4:00 pm
Singleton Auditorium (46-3002)
Yael Niv (Princeton University)
Abstract: No two events are alike. But still, we learn, which means that we implicitly decide what events are similar enough that experience with one can inform us about what to do in another. Starting from early work by Sam Gershman, we have suggested that this relies on parsing of incoming...
student group photo standing on the main steps of MIT
January 30, 2024 - 1:45 pm
More than 80 students and faculty from a dozen collaborating institutions became immersed at the intersection of computation and life sciences and forged new ties to MIT and each other. David Orenstein | The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory Starting on New Year’s Day, when many people were still clinging to holiday revelry, scores of students and faculty members from about a dozen partner universities instead flipped open their laptops...
January 29, 2024 - 10:15 am
Joel Oppenheim was a wise and generous man. We were fortunate to work with him when he joined the CBMM External Advisory Committee (EAC) at its inception in 2014, and got to know him well because he served as an advisor for our diversity and outreach programs. Joel was dedicated to helping others. Though he was already a senior figure in the field and not always in good health, he attended every EAC meeting, always giving helpful feedback and...
January 18, 2024 - 9:45 am
Across mammalian species, brain waves are slower in deep cortical layers, while superficial layers generate faster rhythms. Anne Trafton | MIT News Paper: “A ubiquitous spectrolaminar motif of local field potential power across the primate cortex” Throughout the brain’s cortex, neurons are arranged in six distinctive layers, which can be readily seen with a microscope. A team of MIT and Vanderbilt University neuroscientists has now found that...
January 12, 2024 - 12:00 pm
[translated by Google from Italian] Mario Paternostro and Franco Manzitti interview Tomaso Poggio, the Genoese who changed the world Tomaso Poggio, Genoese, a professor at MIT in Boston, has been considered one of the inventors of artificial intelligence for many years. He is in Genoa in these days, to present his book “Cervelli, mentis, algorithms” written with Marco Magrini, yesterday he held a crowded conference-lection to scientific readings...
December 15, 2023 - 12:15 pm
“Minimum viewing time” benchmark gauges image recognition complexity for AI systems by measuring the time needed for accurate human identification. Rachel Gordon | MIT CSAIL Imagine you are scrolling through the photos on your phone and you come across an image that at first you can’t recognize. It looks like maybe something fuzzy on the couch; could it be a pillow or a coat? After a couple of seconds it clicks — of course! That ball of fluff is...
December 13, 2023 - 1:00 pm
Study shows computational models trained to perform auditory tasks display an internal organization similar to that of the human auditory cortex. Anne Trafton | MIT News Computational models that mimic the structure and function of the human auditory system could help researchers design better hearing aids, cochlear implants, and brain-machine interfaces. A new study from MIT has found that modern computational models derived from machine...
December 7, 2023 - 2:30 pm
McGovern Seminar Room (46-3189)
Daniel Mitropolsky, Columbia University
Abstract: How do neurons, in their collective action, beget cognition, as well as intelligence and reasoning? As Richard Axel recently put it, we do not have a logic for the transformation of neural activity into thought and action; discerning this logic as the most important future direction of...
December 5, 2023 - 4:00 pm
Singleton Auditorium (46-3002)
Daniel Wolpert (Columbia University)
Abstract: Humans spend a lifetime learning, storing and refining a repertoire of motor memories appropriate for the multitude of tasks we perform. However, it is unknown what principle underlies the way our continuous stream of sensorimotor experience is segmented into separate memories and how we...

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