[Ml-stat-talks] Fwd: CSML seminar talk info

Barbara Engelhardt bee at princeton.edu
Tue Sep 22 13:55:34 EDT 2015

Talk of interest this Friday.


CSML Seminar Series
Time: Friday, 9/25 @ 2pm
Location: Computer Science, room 105

Tom Griffiths
University of California at Berkeley

Rationality, heuristics, and cost of computation

When viewed from the perspective of computer science, it’s natural to ask
“How are people so smart?”: human beings still set the standard we aspire
to in many areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence research,
from high-level perception to language to causal reasoning. But when viewed
from the perspective of psychology, we might ask “Are people so smart?”:
the extensive literature on human reasoning and decision-making highlights
systematic ways in which people seem to deviate from rationality. I will
argue that these two different perspectives can be reconciled by using a
more nuanced characterization of rationality, taking into account the
consequences of the cost of computation. Using this approach, several
standard “irrational” heuristics people use can be shown to be sensible
compromises between error and computational cost. The resulting framework
gives us a way to characterize what makes a good heuristic, a systematic
approach to developing models of human reasoning, and tools for translating
the algorithms that people use (and the ways that they find effective
algorithms) into methods that are potentially equally useful for machine
learning and artificial intelligence.
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