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[Colloquium] Using Analogy-Making to Discover the Meaning of Images

April 8, 2010

Watch Colloquium: 

Quicktime file (456 MB)
AVI file (449 MB)


  • Date: Thursday, April 8, 2010 
  • Time: 11 am — 12:15 pm 
  • Place: CEC auditorium (Not the normal place at Mechanical Engineering, Room 218)

Melanie Mitchell  
Portland State University Santa Fe Institute

Abstract: Enabling computers to understand images remains one of the hardest open problems in artificial intelligence. No machine vision system comes close to matching human ability at identifying the contents of images or visual scenes or at recognizing similarity between different scenes, even though such abilities pervade human cognition. In this talk I will describe research—currently in early stages—on bridging the gap between low-level perception and higher-level image understanding by integrating a cognitive model of perceptual organization and analogy-making with a neural model of the visual cortex.

Bio: Melanie Mitchell is Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. She attended Brown University, where she majored in mathematics and did research in astronomy, and the University of Michigan, where she received a Ph.D. in computer science, working with her advisor Douglas Hofstadter on the Copycat project, a computer program that makes analogies. She is the author or editor of five books and over 70 scholarly papers in in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and complex systems. Her most recent book, “Complexity: A Guided Tour”, published in 2009 by Oxford University Press, was named by Amazon.com as one of the ten best science books of 2009.