July 20, 2023 - 10:45 am
Pictures conjured by the mind’s eye lack detail, despite how vividly you picture them By Simon Makin  Here were the simple instructions given by a Harvard University assistant professor to people participating in a recent cognitive science study: “Imagine the following scene. Visualize it in your mind’s eye, as vividly as you can: a person walks into a room and knocks a ball off a table.” The professor, Tomer Ullman, then asked those in the...
July 12, 2023 - 4:00 pm
Researchers used fMRI to test ideas about complex decision-making By Christy DeSmith, Harvard Staff Writer How does the human brain navigate complex circumstances — say, driving through Harvard Square traffic at 5 p.m.? One theory gaining support with psychologists and neuroscientists is that the brain creates causal models of the world that help with planning and execution. It’s akin to running mental simulations to see which outcomes are good...
July 6, 2023 - 5:00 pm
by Jennifer Michalowski, Massachusetts Institute of Technology From cameras to self-driving cars, many of today's technologies depend on artificial intelligence to extract meaning from visual information. Today's AI technology has artificial neural networks at its core, and most of the time we can trust these AI computer vision systems to see things the way we do—but sometimes they falter. According to MIT and IBM research scientists, one way to...
June 29, 2023 - 6:00 pm
by Viviana Lupi Tomaso Poggio is the Head of the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines and is an international pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence. On occasion of the workshop "DEEP LEARNING: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications" which took place in Povo - where he had worked at the time of Prof. Luigi Stringa - we asked him some questions to better understand AI and what we have to expect in the near future. Professor Poggio, you...
June 22, 2023 - 10:15 am
Through her organization, Sprouting, Taylor Baum is empowering teachers to teach coding and computer science in their classrooms and communities. Kris Brewer | Center for Brains, Minds and Machines Taylor Baum knows that access is everything. So the fourth-year MIT PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has been working in recent years to enhance STEM education in underrepresented communities in Puerto...
June 12, 2023 - 11:30 am
Washington, D.C.– Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor highlighting this week’s Senators-only briefing on Artificial Intelligence, the first of three upcoming briefings on AI. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here: It’ll be another busy week here in the Senate as we confirm more nominees and address pressing issues like AI. Tomorrow, the Senate will convene the first of three...
June 5, 2023 - 10:45 am
Using insights into how people intuit others’ emotions, researchers have designed a model that approximates this aspect of human social intelligence. Anne Trafton | MIT News Office When interacting with another person, you likely spend part of your time trying to anticipate how they will feel about what you’re saying or doing. This task requires a cognitive skill called theory of mind, which helps us to infer other people’s beliefs, desires,...
May 18, 2023 - 2:00 pm
Singleton Auditorium (46-3002)
Dan Yamins, Stanford University
Abstract: The emerging field of NeuroAI has leveraged techniques from artificial intelligence to model brain data. In this talk, I will show that the connection between neuroscience and AI can be fruitful in both directions. Towards "AI driving neuroscience", I will discuss a new candidate...
May 9, 2023 - 4:00 pm
Singleton Auditorium (46-3002)
Eero Simoncelli, Silver Professor; Professor of Neural Science, Mathematics, Data Science and Psychology, NYU
Abstract: Inference problems in machine or biological vision generally rely on knowledge of prior probabilities, such as spectral or sparsity models.  In recent years, machine learning has provided dramatic improvements in most of these problems using artificial neural networks, which are typically...
May 4, 2023 - 11:15 am
Despite the eye-catching claim that large AI language models like ChatGPT have achieved theory of mind, some experts find their abilities lackluster. By Cody Cottier When you converse with the latest chatbots, it’s easy to feel like they get you. Their deft responses often give an undeniable impression that they’re aware not only of what you say, but of what you think — what your words imply about your mental state. Theory of Mind Among...
May 2, 2023 - 4:00 pm
Singleton Auditorium (46-3002)
Jeff Clune, Associate Professor, Computer Science, University of British Columbia; Canada CIFAR AI Chair and...
Abstract: Quality Diversity (QD) algorithms are those that seek to produce a diverse set of high-performing solutions to problems. I will describe them and a number of their positive attributes. I will summarize how they enable robots, after being damaged, to adapt in 1-2 minutes in order to...
April 29, 2023 - 3:00 pm
by Elizabeth Elkind EXCLUSIVE: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is launching an effort to get members of Congress educated on artificial intelligence, as the rapidly advancing technology enters more facets of everyday life and pressure to regulate it grows. Against the backdrop of hours of tense negotiations that ultimately led to House Republicans passing their debt limit bill earlier this week, lawmakers took time this week to hear from two MIT-...
April 25, 2023 - 4:00 pm
Singleton Auditorium (46-3002)
Leila Wehbe, Carnegie Mellon University
Abstract: Aligning neural network representations with brain activity measurements is a promising approach for studying the brain. However, it is not always clear what the ability to predict brain activity from neural network representations entails. In this talk, I will describe a line of work...
April 21, 2023 - 9:30 am
A new study tests an alternative to external stimulation for measuring when subjects lose and regain responsiveness during sedation and anesthesia. David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory Studies of consciousness often run into a common conundrum of science — it’s hard to measure a system without the measurement affecting the system. Researchers assessing consciousness, for instance as volunteers receive anesthesia,...
April 11, 2023 - 4:00 pm
Singleton Auditorium (46-3002)
Elizabeth Spelke, Harvard University
Abstract: More than two decades after her death, Eleanor Gibson still may be the best experimental psychologist ever to work in the developmental cognitive sciences, yet her work appears to have been forgotten, or never learned, by many students and investigators today.  Here, drawing on three of...

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