Prof. Tom Griffiths is the director of the Computational Cognitive Science Lab and the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences at UC Berkeley. He studies human cognition and is involved with the Center for Human Compatible Artificial Intelligence. I asked him for insight into the intersection of cognitive science and AI. He offers his thoughts on the historical interaction of the fields and what aspects of human cognition might be relevant to developing AI in the future.
We managed to use machine learning to develop face recognition, games intelligence, self driving vehicles or language translation. With mathematically generated patterns similar to the brain neurons, these systems can learn and perform actions similar to humans or even better. It's a huge evidence that this approach is working and the model we have copied from the brain is valid. We knew that one day, we will reach for the moon when we created the first plane or the first rocket. Today, we know that one day, we will build intelligent machines - we just don't know how long it's going to take. We are somehow designed to create intelligent beings. All discoveries today seem to head us there and we cannot stop this progress.
What sets the present generation of cognitive computing solutions apart from the past is the advent of hugely more powerful and cost-effective computer systems that can process information at high speed, says David Powers, professor of computer science and director for the Centre of Knowledge and Interaction Technology at Flinders University. Combined with big data collections forged from enterprise databases, social networks, sensors – even CCTV – plus the advances in machine learning and deep neural networks, this means it's now possible to use cognitive platforms to generate far more useful insight. Powers, who has been working in the field of artificial intelligence and cognitive science for close to 40 years, says that the support rendered by cognitive computing platforms already ranges from the automation of contact centres to handle routine queries, to training young surgeons using haptic devices, which give tactile feedback, before the doctor is let loose with a scalpel on a human body. He describes the present generation of cognitive platforms as offering "triage" style support, dealing with the routine automatically and supporting humans through more complex challenges. He has been involved with a series of university spin-off businesses such as Clevertar.com.
The Second International Workshop on Human and Machine Cognition was held on 9-11 May 1991. Participation was limited to 40 researchers who are principally involved in computer science, philosophy, and psychology. The workshop focused on the foundational and methodological concerns of those who want to forge a robust and scientifically respectable AI and cognitive science. The debate between the traditional AI and the situated cognition types and the connnectionists was a focal point for discussion during the workshop.