News & Events

Spring 2019 Colloquium:

Why Machines Don't (Yet) Reason Like People

Dr. Sangeet Khemlani, Naval Research Laboratory

Friday, March 1st, 12:30 pm, Tolentine 215

reception to follow


AI has never quite come to grips with how human beings reason in daily life. Many deep learning and automated theorem-proving technologies exist, but they cannot serve as a foundation for building interactive systems that reason automatically. In this talk, I will trace their limitations back to two historical developments in AI: the motivation to establish automated theorem-provers for systems of mathematical logic, and the formulation of nonmonotonic systems of reasoning. I'll then describe properties of human reasoning that cannot be simulated by current machine reasoning or machine learning methodologies. People can generate inferences on their own instead of just evaluating them. They use strategies and fallible shortcuts when they reason. The discovery of an inconsistency does not result in an explosion of inferences -- instead, it often prompts reasoners to abandon a premise. And the connectives they use in natural language have different meanings than those in classical logic. Only recently have cognitive scientists begun to implement automated reasoning systems that reflect these human patterns of reasoning. A key constraint of these recent implementations is that they compute, not proofs, probabilities, or truth values, but possibilities.


Previous Cognitive Science Speakers

2018 - 2019 Academic Year Speakers

  •     Fall, 2018, Dr. Helene Intraub, University of Delaware

2017-2018 Academic Year Speakers

  • Spring, 2018, Dr. Michael Beran, Georgia State University
  • Fall, 2017, Dr. Garrett T. Kenyon, Los Alamos National Laboratory


2016-2017 Academic Year Speakers

  • Spring, 2017, Dr. Carrie Figdor, University of Iowa
  • Fall, 2016, Dr. Christian Schunn, University of Pittsburg


2015-2016 Academic Year Speakers

  • Spring, 2016, Dr. Susan Schneider, University of Connecticut
  • Fall, 2015, Dr. Ani Patel, Tufts University
  • Fall, 2015, Dr. Roger Remington, University of Queensland

2014-2015 Academic Year Speakers

  • Spring 2015, Dr. Art Kramer, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois

  • Fall, 2014, Dr. Brenda Rapp, Johns Hopkins University

2013-2014 Academic Year Speakers

  • Spring 2014, Dr. Brian Scassellati, Yale University

  • Fall 2013, Dr. Julio Villa-Garcia, Villanova University

2011-2012 Academic Year Speakers

  • Spring 2012, Dr. Larry Barsalou, Emory University

  • Fall 2011, Dr. Georg Theiner, Villanova University

2010-2011 Academic Year Speakers

  • Spring 2011, Dr. Russell Romeo, Michigan State University

  • Spring 2011 - Dr. Lance Kriegsfeld, University of California – Berkeley

  • Fall 2010 - Dr. Anjan Chatterjee, The University of Pennsylvania
    Dr. Brian J. Scholl
    Department of Psychology, Yale University

  • Spring, 2009 - Dr. Brian Scholl, Yale University

2007-2008 Academic Year Speakers

  • Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow, University of Chicago


2006-2007 Academic Year Speakers

  • February 22, 2007 - Dr. Paul Thagard, University of Waterloo Emotional Consciousness

  • December 1, 2006 - Dr. Steven Sloman, Brown University Causal Models of Reasoning and Choice