AISB 2000: How to Design a Functioning Mind
AISB'00

Last updated: 8 Jun 2000

"HOW TO DESIGN A FUNCTIONING MIND"

A TWO DAY SYMPOSIUM

POST SYMPOSIUM LINKS

SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE


ABSTRACTS FOR ACCEPTED PAPERS AND POSTERS

PAPERS AND POSTER SUMMARIES

SYMPOSIUM BOOKLET: TABLE OF CONTENTS


"HOW TO DESIGN A FUNCTIONING MIND"

A TWO DAY SYMPOSIUM
AT THE
AISB'2000 CONVENTION

This symposium, one of several to be held at the Convention, was held on the first two days: 17th and 18th April, including a talk by the special guest speaker:

David Lodge
Honorary Professor of Modern English Literature,
The University of Birmingham
"Thinks: a novelist's response to the consciousness debate"


The AISB'2000 Convention was held at the University of Birmingham on Monday April 17 to Thursday April 20.

For information about the remaining symposia and their times, see the main Convention web page: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~mgl/aisb/

SYMPOSIUM OVERVIEW : HOW TO DESIGN A FUNCTIONING MIND

1. Summary:

This two-day symposium will adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to the long term problem of designing a human-like mind, whether for the scientific purpose of understanding human minds or some engineering purpose.

The invited keynote speakers for the main Convention are Alan Bundy, Geoffrey Hinton, Marvin Minsky, and Aaron Sloman. Some of their talks will be relevant to this symposium. Marvin Minsky and Geoffrey Hinton will also attend this symposium.

2. Background to the symposium:

Much research in AI is fragmented: people work on language, or vision, or planning, or learning or mathematical reasoning, without necessarily asking how their models could be combined with others in a fully functioning mind; or they discuss multi-agent systems where the agents have only very simple collections of capabilities.

Much research in psychology is equally fragmented: investigating particular capabilities and how they are affected by environmental factors, or brain damage, or gender, or age, etc.; for instance linguistic or visual or problem solving or memory or motor control capabilities.

Moreover such research often produces interesting empirical results without leading to a theory that is deep or precise enough to be the basis for a design for a working system.

Some philosophers also think about these topics and attempt to analyse the concepts involved in talking about minds, or necessary or sufficient conditions for various kinds of mentality, but without doing so at a level that might guide an engineer attempting to design a mind: and some of them produce arguments claiming to show that the task is impossible, but without formulating the arguments in a manner that could convince a computer engineer.

Ethologists study the minds of many kinds of animals and how they differ, but often without asking what sorts of architectural differences might underly the observed differences in behavioural capabilities, social structure, etc.

Biologists and paleontologists study the evolution of systems which include humans and other animals but generally find it much easier to investigate the development of physical form and physical capabilities than the mechanisms of mind.

3. The purpose of the symposium


The symposium is intended to bring together people interested in building bridges between various kinds of partial studies, with the long term goal of understanding, at least in principle, how to build a complete mind.

Researchers in any discipline are invited to submit posters which address these issues, whether in a speculative fashion or by reporting firm results which directly contribute to the long term task. Examples of topics might be proposed include: architectures to accommodate multiple aspects of human mental functioning, or analyses of requirements for such architectures, or a critique of existing architectures on the basis of their functional limitations or inconsistent empirical evidence, or discussions of how important aspects of human minds might have evolved, or analysis of the problems of designing an adult mind vs designing an infant mind which develops into an adult mind, or comparisons between capabilities of different animals which provide evidence for architectural differences, or overviews of major results in neuroscience which have implications for the virtual machine architecture of a mind (e.g. evidence from brain-damaged patients indicating what sorts of separable functional modules exist).

Philosophical posters presenting familiar arguments to prove that the task is impossible are not particularly welcome whereas philosophical arguments which highlight some of the difficulties to be overcome are.

4. Structure of the symposium


DRAFT SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE NOW AVAILABLE

The symposium will consist of four main half-day sessions followed by a concluding session. Each of the four main sessions will be composed of a set of half hour presentations of selected papers followed by a half hour (or longer) discussion period led by a member of the organising committee. There will also be sessions for poster presentations. The talk by David Lodge, will be on the first afternoon.

The final session of the symposium (Tuesday afternoon) will be a discussion session aiming to identify achievements of the symposium and important unsolved problems which are worth addressing in the near future. It may be useful also to discuss future events of the same kind.

There will be poster presentation sessions organised concurrently for the whole AISB Convention, bringing members of the different symposia together.

5. Submission and selection procedures

The "full paper" submission deadline was in December
Papers are being reviewed and selections will shortly be announced.

Poster submissions welcome until 4th February 2000


POSTER PROPOSALS:
Format for submission of poster proposals.

All submissions to be emailed to: A.Sloman@cs.bham.ac.uk
with "Subject:" line: AISB2000 Symposium Poster
with the following contents IN THIS ORDER PLEASE, and please do not expect A.Sloman to supply missing bits!

Please RETAIN THESE HEADINGS in your submission:

1. AUTHORS' names:
Affiliation and address:
Email address:
Phone number:
(If there is more than one author the first author will be the corresponding author.)

2. TITLE OF POSTER

3. ABSTRACT:
(Preferably no more than 500 words).

4. SHORT CV:
Provide a short CV for the main author or authors, including lists of recent journal or conference publications or invited talks, and current research activity.

Please note:
ONLY plain text submissions will be accepted at this stage, and only by email.

Do NOT send MS-Word files. If possible, do not send mime-encoded attachments, which will add to the effort involved in processing the submissions.

Do not send duplicate plain text and HTML messages.


DECISIONS:
Successful poster proposers will be notified towards the end of February, in time to prepare their posters. A subset may be invited to submit short papers to be included in the symposium booklet.

NOTE: there may not be facilities to support video presentations at the poster session, but if you wish to bring a portable computer, it may be possible to run demonstrations for small groups.


Information on formatting accepted papers and poster summaries
There will be a booklet of contributions to the symposium distributed at the conference. For those presenting full papers (9 pages) and summaries of posters (2 pages) the formatting instructions are at http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~axs/aisb/formatting.html

Symposium Chair

Aaron Sloman,
School of Computer Science,
The University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
EMAIL A.Sloman@cs.bham.ac.uk

Organising committee

John Fox, jf@acl.icnet.uk, Imperial Cancer Research Fund
Brian Logan, bsl@cs.nott.ac.uk, University of Nottingham
Noel Sharkey, n.sharkey@dcs.shef.ac.uk, University of Sheffield
Keith van Rijsbergen, keith@dcs.glasgow.ac.uk, University of Glasgow
Yorick Wilks, y.wilks@dcs.shef.ac.uk, University of Sheffield
Graham Winstanley, G.Winstanley@bton.ac.uk, University of Brighton

Registration

Registration procedures and costs are available, along with information about accommodation via the main convention web page.

This symposium is sponsored by the Artificial Intelligence panel of the AI professional group of IEE

LOCATION

The conference is in the Arts Building at the University of Birmingham, not in the School of Computer Science. It's building 28 on the Campus Map. Here are some online information files and maps:

How to find the University: overview

Short cuts:


INFORMATION FOR POSTER PRESENTERS

Poster boards are 8ft by 4ft (243cm by 121cm approx) and pin boards (the organisers can provide pins).

We envisage all the posters being up for the entire symposium in the Mason lounge (where coffee is served) but with the poster presenters on hand during coffee breaks and after each day of the poster's symposium.

Access times for pinning up posters will be announced shortly.