Learning in artificial systems

Applications now being taken for Bielefeld University’s Center of Excellence CITEC Summer School until July, 20

How does continuous learning function in humans and animals? And how can we transfer these ways of learning to artificial systems such as robots or avatars? These are the questions to be explored at the Summer School of Bielefeld University’s Center of Excellence CITEC. The Summer School is entitled “Continuous learning in living and artificial systems” and is aimed in particular at doctoral researchers. All interested candidates may send in an application for the Summer School until Saturday July 20, 2013.

Humans and animals are continuously absorbing new knowledge, and in the process adapting themselves to their changing environment. Artificial systems, in contrast, usually learn in stages and for a defined period. Most artificial systems are trained in advance to react to a series of previously specified situations. It is the developer who decides when learning begins, and when it ends.

The participants of the 2013 CITEC Summer School will explore the underlying principles of continuous and incremental learning. To this end, the Summer School shall apply a variety of perspectives, including concepts from biology, psychology, linguistics, and informatics. Internationally renowned researchers shall present their research results – both researchers from CITEC and from other institutions.

Speakers from outside include Dr. Michael Beetz (University of Bremen), Dr. Barbara Caputo (Sapienza University of Rome), Dr. Pierre-Yves Oudeyer (from the French public science and technology institution INRIA), Dr. Larissa Samuelson (University of Iowa), and Dr. Florentin Wörgötter (Georg-August University Göttingen). Speakers from CITEC are: Professor Dr. Philipp Cimiano, Professor Dr. Barbara Hammer, Professor Dr. Helge Ritter, PD Dr. Katharina Rohlfing, and Professor Dr. Jochen Steil.

Each of the five days of the Summer School is dedicated to a particular topic. The first day shall explore embodied learning, for for example the assumption that the perception of humans and animals is connected to the make-up of their sensory organs. The second day shall investigate speech acquisition as an example of continuous learning. The focus of day three is knowledge-based systems – technical systems that automatically process knowledge and make it accessible. On the third day, researchers will look at life-long, continuous learning in humans and animals. On the last day, the topic will be applying our knowledge of continuous learning to artificial systems – with a focus on memory models for “continuous” learning in robots. As an example, CITEC researcher Dr. Barbara Hammer will presents results from the research field of machine vision, which aims to provide robots and computers with “sight.”

Applications for the Summer School can be handed in to Claudia Muhl from the CITEC Research Training Group. You will find more information on the Summer School and the application process at: http://www.cit-ec.de/de/summerschool

Contact person: Claudia Muhl, Bielefeld University
Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC)
telephone: +49 (0)521 106-6566
e-mail: cmuhl@cit-ec.uni-bielefeld.de