MIT150 Symposia: Brains, Minds and Machines

Date and Time May 3, 2011, 9 p.m. - May 5, 2011, 5 p.m.
LocationAll events are on the MIT campus. Most events will be held at Kresge Auditorium Two Keynote Panels will be held at McGovern Institute at MIT (46, Atrium) Please see MIT150 Symposia website for details:

MIT will celebrate its 150th anniversary during the spring semester of 2011. In addition to a variety of other programs that will celebrate the past and envision the future, the MIT150 will sponsor a series of five symposia. Three core members of the MIT Intelligence Initiative - Josh Tenenbaum, Irene Heim and Tomaso Poggio - have been awarded the task of organizing a symposium entitled Brains, Minds and Machines which is scheduled for May 3-5, 2011.

This symposium is inspired by the old dream of understanding the mind and the brain, which was at the core of several new fields created at MIT during the ‘50s and ‘60s.  The same dream is now the main motivation for a new Intelligence Initiative (I2), which will bridge faculty across all the Schools of the Institute. Beyond being a great intellectual mission, developing an understanding the origins of intelligence, building more intelligent artifacts and systems, and improving mechanisms for collective decisions will be critical to the future prosperity, education, health, and security of the US.

The “Brains, Minds and Machines” events will run over two days, mostly at the MIT Kresge auditorium, where we expect an audience of about thousand attendees including MIT students, MIT alumni and researchers from the Boston area and elsewhere. We will start it off with a keynote panel discussing the “Golden Age” which will be chaired by Steve Pinker and will include Marvin Minsky, Noam Chomsky, and Sydney Brenner, among other personalities from research and industry, including several Nobel Laureates. We will continue with panels and short talks in the following one and a half day spanning the six main areas of intelligence research: Vision; Language; Learning and Genetics; Action and Navigation; Social Cognition and Development; and Integrative Intelligence. The second and third day of the program will close with a keynote panel discussions: “I2: why is it time to try again?” focused on future efforts to combine neuroscience, cognitive science and computer science for a new attempt towards AI and understanding the mind; and “Looking in and out” focused on the role of the science and engineering of intelligence, in the marketplace and in research.

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