Archive for March, 2012

Weekly QUEST Discussion Topics and News, Mar 30

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

QUEST Discussion Topics Mar 30

Note: Capt Amerika will have to leave the meeting by 12:45 for a meeting down the hill at 1 with AFRL/CC –

1.) We want to close the loop on some discussion points from last week.
a. First there was the question on the discussion on Active Learning. Specifically there was the question of the difference between label query and feature query. Referring back to the original article from Cakmak and Thomaz we will provide the details.
b. Second we want to return to our discussion on prosopagnosia – the 60 minutes story, we want to revisit the QUEST diagram of sys1 and sys2 to allow any new ideas on what is dysfunctional for these people.
2.) The third topic is also a carry over from last week but it includes some references to three articles I’ve focused on this week to clear up some of the issues we discussed. The articles are first the full article associated with the Christof Koch discussion on Probing the unconscious mind. ‘Rapid parallel semantic processing of numbers without awareness’, by Opstal, Lange, Dehaene. We specifically want to look at their explanation of ensemble encoding to accomplish ‘gisting’. The fact that this occurs below the level of qualia, below the level of awareness is very interesting and we need to map this back to our information flow diagram for sys1 and sys2. Two other articles by the same research group are also very interesting: ‘Setting the stage subliminally: Unconscious context effects’, Opstal, Calderon, Gevers, Verguts; and ‘The Neural basis of implicit perceptual sequence learning’ by Gheysen, Opstal, Roggeman, Van Waelvelde and Fias.


Weekly QUEST Discussion Topics, Mar 23

March 22, 2012 Leave a comment

QUEST Discussion Topics Mar 23

We will start with a discussion on prospagnosia – there was a story this week on 60 minutes we want to review and then map the characteristics into our flow diagram of sys1 and sys2 processing – to include a discussion on qualia within the sys2 representation. The information for the story can be found at

There is also a story in the news that we want to cover associated with processing open source intelligence. “Spies will no longer have to plant bugs in your home – the rise of ‘connected’ gadgets controlled by apps will mean that people ‘bug’ their own homes, says CIA director David Petraeus” –

The last topic is associated with an article from Sci American Mind – Probing the Unconscious Mind – Christof Koch. The examples from the article include experiments on visual masking and accessing unconscious visual information.

References –

Weekly QUEST Discussion Topics and News, March 16th

March 16, 2012 Leave a comment

This week’s QUEST meeting we return to our discussion on alignment of agents. Also, we will hear a short report from Jared and Mark who attended the 2nd IEEE CogSIMA conference held 6-8 March in New Orleans, LA. The long title is 2012 IEEE International Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support.

QUEST Discussion Topics and News, March 9th

QUEST Discussion Topics
9 March 2012

QUEST Discussion Topics Mar 9th

Our recent discussions on trust of autonomous systems led us to work being led by AFOSR, specifically Joe Lyons, AFOSR/RSL. Joe gave us a link to a wiki, ,associated with ongoing research related to our interest. The work focuses on 3 major research challenges:
1) identify what factors shape user trust of autonomous systems initially and overtime,
2) identify how to most effectively establish and maintain “communication/coordination between the machine and the human partner” such that the machine understands the cognitive state of the human and can adapt dynamically – this will involve understanding the human “theory of mind”,
3) develop effective methods to verify and validate trust of autonomous systems
At the wiki there is a reading list of lots of great archival literature on these topics. One of the articles that captured my bandwidth this week is:
Kulesza, T., Stumpf, S., Burnett, M., Kwan, I. Tell me more? The effects of mental model soundness on personalizing an intelligent agent, Proc. CHI, ACM (2012), to appear.
This article addresses the question ‘what does a user need to know to productively work with an intelligent agent?’ (recommender systems). This has been a focus of QUEST discussions so I will spend some time presenting the work and lead a discussion on the take-aways and implications for some of our proposed experiments.

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Due to Capt Amerika’s travel schedule and several other regular on-site participants being unable to attend, we are going to cancel this week’s discussion. Please check back on here for any pertinent news stories or topics for next week.