Center launches distinguished lecture series to bridge AI and neuroscience


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Center for Artificial Intelligence Foundations and Engineered Systems(CAFÉ) is hosting a week-long seminar series showcasing research at the intersection of artificial intelligence, computer science, neuroscience and electrical engineering. The CAFÉ Distinguished Lecture Series will take place virtually every weekday from noon to 1 p.m. starting on Feb. 14 and ending on Feb. 21.

“AI systems have made rapid progress in achieving parity with — or even exceeding — human performance in specialized tasks, most impressively in extracting visual information from images through object detection, classification and caption generation,” said Vijay Narayanan, A. Robert Noll Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and director of CAFÉ. “Nevertheless, performance still lags humans and even lower animals in otherwise basic tasks that involve novelty and generalization: handling unanticipated tasks and new environments, learning rapidly without supervision, deducing the unobserved and anticipating likely outcomes.”

According to Narayanan, the series was developed to bring together experts in neuroscience, computer science and engineering and electrical engineering with the goal of better understanding cognition and how it might be applied to designing advanced AI systems.

The seminar series is free and open to the public. More details are available here.

CAFÉ Distinguished Lecture Series: Artificial Intelligence Meets Neuroscience

Every seminar is virtual and takes place from noon to 1 p.m.

Feb. 14
Title: Re-Engineering Computing with Neuro-Inspired Learning: Algorithms, Circuits and Systems
Speaker: Kaushik Roy, Edward G. Tiedemann, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University

Feb. 15
Title: Memory, Cognition and the Role of Sleep
Speaker: Matthew Wilson, Sherman Fairchild Professor in Neurobiology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  

Feb. 16
Title: Neuroscience-Inspired Machine Learning
Speaker: Laurent Itti, professor of computer science, psychology and neuroscience, University of Southern California Viterbi School

Feb. 17
Title: Diminishing Returns with Deep Neural Networks
Speaker: Mehrdad Mahdavi, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Penn State

Feb. 18
Title: Vision and Language Understanding
Speaker: Huijuan Xu, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, Penn State

Feb. 21
Title: Sound Symbolism and Its Neural Basis
Speaker: Krishnankutty Sathian, professor of neurology, neural and behavioral sciences, and psychology and director, Penn State Neuroscience Institute


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