The University of Arizona

Events & News

MIS Speaker Series

DateFriday, October 2, 2009
Time3:00 pm
LocationMcClelland 132
SpeakerDr. Paul Cohen
TitleProfessor and Head of Department of Computer Science, SISTA
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona

Against Sophistication: In Pursuit of Complete Intelligence

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence is drunk on performing hard tasks at high levels. Given a choice between power and generality, most of us choose power. Our programs depend on designed exploits, or on designed search spaces in which programs can learn exploits. Divide-and-conquer, specific function, power over generality, and exploits are valuable engineering methods in many disciplines. They are apt to build machines that do one thing well. Human intelligence isn't that kind of machine. Fixing the current situation will require a disciplined stand against sophistication. It will require investments in general, child-like intelligence, and the investors might not see a return --- high performance from cognitive systems --- for some time. I will illustrate these points and the pursuit of child-like intelligence with lessons from our Wubble World project, in which softbots try to learn natural language by interacting with human players.


Bio: Paul Cohen is a professor of Computer Science at UA. His research is in artificial intelligence and cognitive science, specifically machine learning, data mining, planning, and cognitive developmental robotics. Cohen's PhD in Computer Science and Psychology is from Stanford. He was at UMass, Amherst and USC's Information Sciences Institute before joining the UA in 2008. With the support and encouragement of friends in MIS at Eller School, Cohen recently started the interdisciplinary School of Information Sciences, Technology and Arts.