Collaborating Authors


Multi-scale Hyper-time Hardware Emulation of Human Motor Nervous System Based on Spiking Neurons using FPGA

Neural Information Processing Systems

Our central goal is to quantify the long-term progression of pediatric neurological diseases, such as a typical 10-15 years progression of child dystonia. To this purpose, quantitative models are convincing only if they can provide multi-scale details ranging from neuron spikes to limb biomechanics. The models also need to be evaluated in hyper-time, i.e. significantly faster than real-time, for producing useful predictions. We designed a platform with digital VLSI hardware for multi-scale hyper-time emulations of human motor nervous systems. The platform is constructed on a scalable, distributed array of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) devices.

A 20-Year Community Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Research in the US Artificial Intelligence

Decades of research in artificial intelligence (AI) have produced formidable technologies that are providing immense benefit to industry, government, and society. AI systems can now translate across multiple languages, identify objects in images and video, streamline manufacturing processes, and control cars. The deployment of AI systems has not only created a trillion-dollar industry that is projected to quadruple in three years, but has also exposed the need to make AI systems fair, explainable, trustworthy, and secure. Future AI systems will rightfully be expected to reason effectively about the world in which they (and people) operate, handling complex tasks and responsibilities effectively and ethically, engaging in meaningful communication, and improving their awareness through experience. Achieving the full potential of AI technologies poses research challenges that require a radical transformation of the AI research enterprise, facilitated by significant and sustained investment. These are the major recommendations of a recent community effort coordinated by the Computing Community Consortium and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence to formulate a Roadmap for AI research and development over the next two decades.

Towards a Quantum-Like Cognitive Architecture for Decision-Making Artificial Intelligence

We propose an alternative and unifying framework for decision-making that, by using quantum mechanics, provides more generalised cognitive and decision models with the ability to represent more information than classical models. This framework can accommodate and predict several cognitive biases reported in Lieder & Griffiths without heavy reliance on heuristics nor on assumptions of the computational resources of the mind. Expected utility theory and classical probabilities tell us what people should do if employing traditionally rational thought, but do not tell us what people do in reality (Machina, 2009). Under this principle, L&G propose an architecture for cognition that can serve as an intermediary layer between Neuroscience and Computation. Whilst instances where large expenditures of cognitive resources occur are theoretically alluded to, the model primarily assumes a preference for fast, heuristic-based processing.

Capturing human categorization of natural images at scale by combining deep networks and cognitive models Artificial Intelligence

Human categorization is one of the most important and successful targets of cognitive modeling in psychology, yet decades of development and assessment of competing models have been contingent on small sets of simple, artificial experimental stimuli. Here we extend this modeling paradigm to the domain of natural images, revealing the crucial role that stimulus representation plays in categorization and its implications for conclusions about how people form categories. Applying psychological models of categorization to natural images required two significant advances. First, we conducted the first large-scale experimental study of human categorization, involving over 500,000 human categorization judgments of 10,000 natural images from ten non-overlapping object categories. Second, we addressed the traditional bottleneck of representing high-dimensional images in cognitive models by exploring the best of current supervised and unsupervised deep and shallow machine learning methods. We find that selecting sufficiently expressive, data-driven representations is crucial to capturing human categorization, and using these representations allows simple models that represent categories with abstract prototypes to outperform the more complex memory-based exemplar accounts of categorization that have dominated in studies using less naturalistic stimuli.

A review of possible effects of cognitive biases on interpretation of rule-based machine learning models Machine Learning

This paper investigates to what extent do cognitive biases affect human understanding of interpretable machine learning models, in particular of rules discovered from data. Twenty cognitive biases (illusions, effects) are covered, as are possibly effective debiasing techniques that can be adopted by designers of machine learning algorithms and software. While there seems no universal approach for eliminating all the identified cognitive biases, it follows from our analysis that the effect of most biases can be ameliorated by making rule-based models more concise. Due to lack of previous research, our review transfers general results obtained in cognitive psychology to the domain of machine learning. It needs to be succeeded by empirical studies specifically aimed at the machine learning domain.

Thinking in PolAR Pictures: Using Rotation-Friendly Mental Images to Solve Leiter-R Form Completion

AAAI Conferences

The Leiter International Performance Scale-Revised (Leiter-R) is a standardized cognitive test that seeks to "provide a nonverbal measure of general intelligence by sampling a wide variety of functions from memory to nonverbal reasoning." Understanding the computational building blocks of nonverbal cognition, as measured by the Leiter-R, is an important step towards understanding human nonverbal cognition, especially with respect to typical and atypical trajectories of child development. One subtest of the Leiter-R, Form Completion, involves synthesizing and localizing a visual figure from its constituent slices. Form Completion poses an interesting nonverbal problem that seems to combine several aspects of visual memory, mental rotation, and visual search. We describe a new computational cognitive model that addresses Form Completion using a novel, mental-rotation-friendly image representation that we call the Polar Augmented Resolution (PolAR) Picture, which enables high-fidelity mental rotation operations. We present preliminary results using actual Leiter-R test items and discuss directions for future work.

Scientists have designed virtual human brain cells

FOX News

For centuries, scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying the human brain have attempted to unlock its mysteries. The role the brain plays in human personality -- as well as the myriad of disorders and conditions that come along with it -- is often difficult to study because studying the organ while it's still functioning in a human body is complicated. Now, researchers at The Allen Institute for Brain Science have introduced a new tool that could make such study a whole lot easier: functioning virtual brain cells. The fully 3D computer models of living human brain tissue are based on actual brain samples that were left over after surgery, and present what could be the most powerful testbed for studying the human brain ever created. The samples used to construct the virtual models was healthy tissue that was removed during brain operations, and represents parts of the brain that are typically associated with thoughts and consciousness, as well as memory.

Study will ask 10,000 New Yorkers to share life's data

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Wanted: 10,000 New Yorkers interested in advancing science by sharing a trove of personal information, from cellphone locations and credit-card swipes to blood samples and life-changing events. Researchers are gearing up to start recruiting participants from across the city next year for a study so sweeping it's called'The Human Project .' It aims to channel different data streams into a river of insight on health, aging, education and many other aspects of human life. Pictured are people walking inside the Oculus, the new transit station at the World Trade Center in New York. Researchers are gearing up to start recruiting 10,000 New Yorkers early next year for a study so sweeping it's called'The Human Project' 'That's what we're all about: putting the holistic picture together,' says project director Dr Paul Glimcher, a New York University neural science, economics and psychology professor.

Inferring Cognitive Models from Data using Approximate Bayesian Computation Machine Learning

An important problem for HCI researchers is to estimate the parameter values of a cognitive model from behavioral data. This is a difficult problem, because of the substantial complexity and variety in human behavioral strategies. We report an investigation into a new approach using approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) to condition model parameters to data and prior knowledge. As the case study we examine menu interaction, where we have click time data only to infer a cognitive model that implements a search behaviour with parameters such as fixation duration and recall probability. Our results demonstrate that ABC (i) improves estimates of model parameter values, (ii) enables meaningful comparisons between model variants, and (iii) supports fitting models to individual users. ABC provides ample opportunities for theoretical HCI research by allowing principled inference of model parameter values and their uncertainty.

Caitlyn Jenner and Our Cognitive Dissonance - Issue 35: Boundaries


Somewhere in the middle of the night in a Central African rainforest, a chimpanzee gives birth. Soon after, as the sun rises, mother and newborn sit there, dazed, amid a coffee klatch of friends and relatives. Inevitably, at some point, virtually every member of the group will come over, pull the kid's legs apart and sniff: Boy or girl? It's the most binary question in biology, producing an answer that is set in stone. Biologists have long known about exceptions to the boring, staid notion that organisms are, and remain, either female or male. Now our culture is inching toward recognizing that the permanent, cleanly binary nature of gender is incorrect.