Phil 1.4.17

7:00 – 3:00 ASRC MKT

  • Confidence modulates exploration and exploitation in value-based learning
    • Uncertainty is ubiquitous in cognitive processing, which is why agents require a precise handle on how to deal with the noise inherent in their mental operations. Previous research suggests that people possess a remarkable ability to track and report uncertainty, often in the form of confidence judgments. Here, we argue that humans use uncertainty inherent in their representations of value beliefs to arbitrate between exploration and exploitation. Such uncertainty is reflected in explicit confidence judgments. Using a novel variant of a multi-armed bandit paradigm, we studied how beliefs were formed and how uncertainty in the encoding of these value beliefs (belief confidence) evolved over time. We found that people used uncertainty to arbitrate between exploration and exploitation, reflected in a higher tendency towards exploration when their confidence in their value representations was low. We furthermore found that value uncertainty can be linked to frameworks of metacognition in decision making in two ways. First, belief confidence drives decision confidence — that is people’s evaluation of their own choices. Second, individuals with higher metacognitive insight into their choices were also better at tracing the uncertainty in their environment. Together, these findings argue that such uncertainty representations play a key role in the context of cognitive control.

  • Artificial Intelligence, AI in 2018 and beyond
    • Eugenio Culurciello
    • These are my opinions on where deep neural network and machine learning is headed in the larger field of artificial intelligence, and how we can get more and more sophisticated machines that can help us in our daily routines. Please note that these are not predictions of forecasts, but more a detailed analysis of the trajectory of the fields, the trends and the technical needs we have to achieve useful artificial intelligence. Not all machine learning is targeting artificial intelligences, and there are low-hanging fruits, which we will examine here also.
  • Synthetic Experiences: How Popular Culture Matters for Images of International Relations
    • Many researchers assert that popular culture warrants greater attention from international relations scholars. Yet work regarding the effects of popular culture on international relations has so far had a marginal impact. We believe that this gap leads mainstream scholars both to exaggerate the influence of canonical academic sources and to ignore the potentially great influence of popular culture on mass and elite audiences. Drawing on work from other disciplines, including cognitive science and psychology, we propose a theory of how fictional narratives can influence real actors’ behavior. As people read, watch, or otherwise consume fictional narratives, they process those stories as if they were actually witnessing the phenomena those narratives describe, even if those events may be unlikely or impossible. These “synthetic experiences” can change beliefs, reinforce preexisting views, or even displace knowledge gained from other sources for elites as well as mass audiences. Because ideas condition how agents act, we argue that international relations theorists should take seriously how popular culture propagates and shapes ideas about world politics. We demonstrate the plausibility of our theory by examining the influence of the US novelist Tom Clancy on issues such as US relations with the Soviet Union and 9/11.
  • Continuing with paper tweaking. Added T’s comments, and finished Methods.