Brains, Minds and Machines

Deadline: March 5, 2015 

Directors: L. Mahadevan, Harvard University; and Tomaso Poggio, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This intensive three-week course will give advanced students a “deep end” introduction to the problem of intelligence – how the brain produces intelligent behavior and how we may be able to replicate intelligence in machines. Today’s AI technologies, such as Watson and Siri and Deep Learning, are impressive, but their domain specificity and reliance on vast numbers of labeled examples are obvious limitations; few view this as brain-like or human intelligence. The synergistic combination of cognitive science, neurobiology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science holds the promise to build much more robust and sophisticated algorithms implemented in intelligent machines *and* to begin understanding how the brain produces the mind. The goal of this course is to help produce a community of leaders that is equally knowledgeable in neuroscience, cognitive science, and computer science.

The first half of the course will focus on the intersection between biological and computational aspects of learning and vision. The second half will focus on high-level social cognition and artificial intelligence, as well as audition, speech and language processing. Throughout the course, students will participate in tutorials to gain hands on experience with these topics. The course will culminate with student projects on a chosen aspect of the problem of intelligence.

The course is limited to 25 students.

2014 Invited Course Faculty:

Boyden, Ed, MIT
Buelthoff, Heinrich, Max Planck Institute, Tübingen
Desimone, Robert, MIT
Freiwald, Winrich, Rockefeller University
Goodman, Noah, Stanford University
Hirsh, Haym, Cornell University
Kanwisher, Nancy, MIT
Katz, Boris, MIT
Koch, Christof, Allen Institute for Brain Science
Kreiman, Gabriel, Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard University
Mahadevan, Harvard University
Metta, Giorgio, Italian Institute of Technology
Nakayama, Kenneth, Harvard University
Poggio, Tomaso, MIT
Rosasco, Lorenzo, Italian Institute of Technology
Sandini, Giulio, Italian Institute of Technology
Saxe, Rebecca, MIT
Schulz, Laura, MIT
Shashua, Amnon, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; MobileEye
Smale, Steve, City U, Hong Kong
Sompolinsky, Haim, Harvard University and Hebrew University
Spelke, Liz, Harvard University
Tenenbaum, Joshua, MIT
Ullman, Shimon, Weizmann Institute and MIT
Valiant, Leslie, Harvard University
Verri, Alessandro, U. Genoa
Wilson, Matthew, MIT
Winston, Patrick, MIT