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How AI Influences Our Understanding of Human Intelligence

(And Vice Versa)

A presentation by Maithilee Kunda, Vanderbilt University at an Engaging Scientists campus event, November, 2018

Speaker: Maithilee Kunda, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Vanderbilt University

Respondent: Adrian Campos, Communications Director, Life Family Church, Austin, TX

About the Presentation

Friday, November 9, 2018
Texas State University 
San Marco, TX

Artificial intelligence (AI) has long enjoyed a two-way relationship with the cognitive sciences: human intelligence often serves as a source of inspiration for building new kinds of AI systems, and research in AI has often influenced the development of new theories of human intelligence. In this talk, Dr. Kunda presented a recent case study from her work designing and building AI systems that use visual imagery to perform difficult reasoning tasks. Through this research, she has increasingly come to appreciate the importance of understanding neurodiversity, i.e., how different people think in different ways, for many aspects of AI and technology development. She looks at questions such as, "how can research with new kinds of AI systems help us better understand and support neurodiversity, including making sure that we design our systems to work effectively with a broad range of potential users?" And, "how can a better understanding of human neurodiversity help us build more flexible and effective AI systems?" To an AI researcher, these are difficult but exciting challenges, and they emphasize the importance of increasing opportunities in AI for diversity, accessibility, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Engaging Scientists Campus Events

This event was part of the Engaging Scientists project, organized by AAAS DoSER in consultation with the AAAS Center for Public Engagement. Six universities hosted speaker events to explore challenges, opportunities, and effective strategies for constructive dialogue about science by scientists with diverse (and particularly with religious/spiritual) publics. 

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