Carnegie Mellon University
July 14, 2015

Toward Software Social Organisms: The Companion Architecture

Toward Software Social Organisms: The Companion Architecture Toward Software Social Organisms: The Companion Architecture

Northwestern University’s Ken Forbus will deliver the keynote lecture for the 22nd ACT-R Workshop on systems that interact with people using natural modalities, working and learning with us over extended periods of time, as an apprentice would.

ACT-R is a cognitive architecture — a theory about how human thought works. On the exterior, ACT-R looks like a programming language; however, its constructs reflect assumptions about human cognition. The annual workshop brings researchers from around the world to CMU’s campus for symposiums, tutorials and talk sessions. This year’s theme is “Scaling Up.”

Forbus’ lecture — and the theme of ACT-R — bridges two CMU strategic initiatives: BrainHub, which harnesses the technology that helps the world explore brain and behavior; and Simon, a commitment to leverage learning science research and the latest in technology in order to improve learning outcomes for all students.

In his talk, Forbus, the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Education at Northwestern, will discuss the companion cognitive architecture, and how it aimed at what the late CMU Professor Allen Newell called the “social band.”

For example, a companion architecture should be able to learn to play games without massive numbers of trials, and revise its conceptual understanding of the world based on instructional analogies. Forbus’ hypothesis is that analogical reasoning and learning over rich conceptual representations, including qualitative representations, is essential for achieving these goals.

When: 3:30 p.m., Friday, July 17
Where: Giant Eagle Auditorium, Baker Hall, Carnegie Mellon University

The ACT-R Research Group is part of the Department of Psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Learn more.

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By Shilo Rea