LINGUIST List 13.1244

Fri May 3 2002

Confs: Computational Ling, Cambridge, MA, USA

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  1. John Weng, A new conference dedicated to computational autonomous mental development

Message 1: A new conference dedicated to computational autonomous mental development

Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 22:07:04 -0400
From: John Weng <>
Subject: A new conference dedicated to computational autonomous mental development

Dear researchers,

You might be interested in providing your input to the first(?)
regularly scheduled conference dedicated to COMPUTATIONAL Autonomous
Mental Development (AMD): ICDL'02. Its panel discussion invites you to
give your thoughts! For example, one of the questions that will be
discussed at the panel session is "Is AMD essential to intelligence?" 

Best regards,

ICDL'02 organization committee
Call For Participation

The 2nd International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL'02)
June 12 - 15, 2002
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA
Advance Registration Deadline: May 5, 2002.

Sponsored by:
American Association for Artificial Intelligence
Cognitive Science Society
IEEE Computer Society
IEEE Neural Networks Society
IEEE Robotics and Automation Society

Invited Presentations:
Cortical Development and Learning during Vision, Recognition, and Action
(tutorial), Stephen Grossberg, Boston U.
Plasticity Contributing to Variations in Human Performance Ability,
Michael Merzenich, UCSF
Prediction-error Driven Learning: The Engine of Change in Cognitive
Development, James McClelland, CMU
How do Features of Sensory Representations Develop? Jon Kaas, Vanderbilt
One Thing Follows Another: Initial State, Task, and Developmental Change
in Human Infants, Esther Thelen
Learning in Content-based Image Retrieval, Thomas S. Huang, UIUC
Humanoid Robot Models of Child Development, Rodney Brooks, MIT
Rewiring Cortex: Rules of Cortical Network Development, Mriganka Sur,
Learning Your Life: Wearables and Familiars, Alex Pentland, MIT
Development as a Source of Complexity, Jeff Elman, UCSB

The recent advances in neuroscience, cognitive science, artificial 
intelligence and robotics have stimulated the birth and growth of a 
new research field, known as computational autonomous mental
Although human mental development is a well known subject of study,
e.g., in 
developmental psychology, computational studies of mental development
either machines or humans have not received sufficient attention in the
Computational autonomous mental development concerns understanding of 
computational principles of autonomous mental development in humans and
animals and the synthesis of developmental programs for robots and other 
artificial systems. Mental development is a process during which a
natural or artificial embodied system, under the control of its
species-specific developmental program residing in the genes or
designed, develops mental capabilities through its autonomous real-time 
interactions with its environments (including its own internal
environment and 
components) using its own sensors and effectors. The scope of mental 
development includes cognitive, behavioral, emotional and all other
capabilities that are exhibited by humans, higher animals and artificial 
systems. Investigations of the computational mechanisms of mental
are expected to improve our systematic understanding of the wide variety
cognitive and behavioral capabilities in humans and to enable autonomous 
development of these highly complex capabilities by robots and other

ICDL-02 is the first regularly scheduled conference following the very 
successful Workshop on Development and Learning (WDL), funded by NSF and 
DARPA, held April 5 - 7, 2000 at Michigan State University 
( Some discussion about this new direction
available on the final report page of WDL at 
A brief discussion of the subject is available in an article appeared in 
Science (

The autonomous, real-time, incremental, open-ended, sensor-grounded and 
effector-grounded operational mode of mental development implies that
disciplines of human intelligence and artificial intelligence face many 
similar research issues. Therefore, this conference series is 
multidisciplinary in nature, inviting researchers of all related fields 
including, but not limited to, machine intelligence, machine learning, 
computer vision, speech recognition, robotics, animal learning,
neuroscience, computational intelligence, and philosophy. Although 
understanding or realizing fully autonomous mode of mental development
is a 
goal, intermediate results toward this goal are all encouraged. 

The subjects of the conference include, but not limited to

 (1) Architecture of mental development
 (2) Learning techniques that facilitate skill development 
 (3) Development of visual, auditory and other sensory cortices 
 (4) Development of filters and feature detectors 
 (5) Neural plasticity during development
 (6) Development of value system
 (7) Development of emotion
 (8) Development of cognitive system
 (9) Coordination and integration of behaviors through development
 (10) Development of attention mechanisms
 (11) Development of vision system
 (12) Development of audition system
 (13) Development of taction system
 (14) Integration mechanisms through development 
 (15) Computational models of language acquisition through development
 (16) Generation of representation during development
 (17) Integrated developmental programs or systems
 (18) Autonomous thinking behaviors through development 
 (19) Development of consciousness 
 (20) Robot bodies that facilitate autonomous mental development
 (21) Robots capable of autonomous mental development
 (22) Robotic techniques for mental development
 (23) Comparison of approaches to machine intelligence 
 (24) Social and philosophical issues of developmental robots 

General Co-Chairs:

James L. McClelland
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
Carnegie Mellon University

Alex P. Pentland
The Media Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Program Co-Chairs:

Jeff Elman 
Department of Cognitive Science
University of California at San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0515

Mriganka Sur
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Juyang Weng
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Tutorial Chair:
Sridhar Mahadevan
Department of Computer Science 
University of Massachusetts, Amherst 

Local Arrangement Chair:
Tony Jebara
The Media Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Columbia University

Juyang (John) Weng, Associate Professor 
3115 Engineering Building 
Department of Computer Science and Engineering 
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1226 USA
Tel & Fax: 517-353-4388
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