Wednesday, January 11, 2017
12:00 PM
University of Adelaide School of Psychology
Data, language, and the mind: How people (and computers) learn, communicate, and reason about a comp


How do we know what we know, and how does this knowledge drive further learning? I combine empirical work with computational and mathematical modelling to investigate how data in the world, along with people's assumptions about it, shape and are shaped by cognition. I argue that because humans are social creatures, understanding cognition requires understanding the social assumptions we make about the origin of the data we see; this is evident in areas from concept learning to decision making to information search. As I show, this insight has especially strong implications for understanding language, because linguistic systems are not just learned by people; they are created by them as well.