Dancing with Pixies?...

At TEDx Tottenham, London Mark Bishop (the former chair of the Society) demonstrates that if the ongoing EU flagship science project - the 1.6 billion dollar "Human Brain Project” - ultimately succeeds in understanding all as...


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Computerised Minds. ...

A video sponsored by the society discusses Searle's Chinese Room Argument (CRA) and the heated debates surrounding it. In this video, which is accessible to the general public and those with interest in AI, Olly's Philosophy Tube ...


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Erden in AI roundtab...

On Friday 4th September, philosopher and AISB member Dr Yasemin J Erden, participated in an AI roundtable at Second Home, hosted by Index Ventures and SwiftKey.   Joining her on the panel were colleagues from academia and indu...


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AISB Convention 2016

The AISB Convention is an annual conference covering the range of AI and Cognitive Science, organised by the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour. The 2016 Convention will be held at the Uni...


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Bishop and AI news

Stephen Hawking thinks computers may surpass human intelligence and take over the world. This view is based on the ideology that all aspects of human mentality will eventually be realised by a program running on a suitable compu...


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Connection Science

All individual members of The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour have a personal subscription to the Taylor Francis journal Connection Science as part of their membership. How to Acce...


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Al-Rifaie on BBC

AISB Committee member and Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, Dr Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie was interviewed by the BBC (in Farsi) along with his colleague Mohammad Ali Javaheri Javid on the 6 November 2014. He was a...


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AISB YouTube Channel

The AISB has launched a YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/AISBTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/AISBTube). The channel currently holds a number of videos from the AISB 2010 Convention. Videos include the AISB round t...


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Notice

AISB event Bulletin Item

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Whitehead Lecture - Bayesian Just-So Stories in Psychology and Neuroscience, Wed 13th March, Goldsmiths, London UK


The seventh and final Whitehead Lecture of spring term 2013 will be given by Colin Davis. Colin 
is Professor of Cognitive Science in the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University 
of London.

An abstract for the lecture and short biography for the speaker are appended below.

The lecture will take place at 4pm on Wednesday 13th March in the Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre, 
Goldsmiths, University of London .

=============================================================================

Bayesian Just-So Stories in Psychology and Neuroscience

=============================================================================

ABSTRACT: Bayesian theories are all the rage in psychology and neuroscience. These theories 
claim that minds and brains are (near) optimal in solving a wide range of tasks. A common 
premise of these theories is that theorising should largely be constrained by a rational 
analysis of what the mind ought to do in order to perform optimally. I will argue that this 
approach ignores many of the important constraints that come from biological, evolutionary, 
and processing (algorithmic) considerations, and that it has contributed to the development of 
many Bayesian just-so stories in psychology and neuroscience; that is, mathematical analyses 
of cognition that can be used to explain almost any behavior as optimal. I will argue that the 
empirical evidence for Bayesian theories in psychology is weak at best, and that the empirical
evidence for Bayesian theories in neuroscience is weaker still. 
 
BRIEF BIO: Colin Davis obtained a PhD in cognitive psychology from the University of New South 
Wales in Sydney. After a few years working as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Macquarie 
Centre for Cognitive Science he moved to Bristol as a post-doctoral researcher. He was appointed
as a Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2006, becoming a Professor of 
Cognitive Science in 2010. In summer 2013 he will take up a Chair in Cognitive Psychology at the 
University of Bristol. Most of his research is focussed on language processing, and particularly 
the recognition of printed words. This lecture is based on an article he published with Jeffrey 
Bowers in Psychological Bulletin in 2012.