Tony Prescott's Teaching Links
This links page is provided for students with an interest in Cognitive Science, and in particular for students studying
the courses PSY105 "Discovering Cognitive Science: Minds, Brains, and Machines", and PSY304 "Cooperative Models of Mind".
Help With Academic Writing
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Effective Use of English
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If you want to talk to someone about writing skills make an appointment with the University's
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PSY105 related sites
the following sites are provided as background material for the lectures, and as support for the assignments.
- The MIT Humanoid Robots Group
is trying to replicate many of the elements of human behaviour in human-like robots (COG and KISMET). They are particular interested in building robots that
can interact with human beings in order to develop and learn. You can also get information on Brooks' earlier (insect-like) robots from this site.
- This Humanoid Robots site has lots of good
articles on what current robots can and cannot do.
- The Honda Robot. The Honda Corporation
is trying to build a robot, called "ASIMO", that can walk like a human being, for more info see
Honda's humanoid robots.
- The Sony Dream Robot. There is an article here about this robot, and several other contemporary machines, together
with a link (click on 'robot essay') to a movie of Sony Dream Robots robots dancing to bizaare Japanese Pop Music! The robot movements look impressive, but how good are they at
movements that are not pre-programmed? Here is a recent Press Release
from Sony about the latest version of the robot SDR-4X.
- The AAAI Robot page. This is the American Association of Artificial Intelligence again, with a page on robots contains lots of
interesting articles and links.
- The DB (Dynamic Brain) Robot can do some clever tricks such as juggling and playing the drums!
- The Cognitive Robotics Group at Vanderbilt University is work on robot-human interaction and the design of a robot hand.
- Another Japanese Group building humanoid robots.
- So you think that intelligent/conscious robots are impossible in principle? Check that your argument hasn't been answered in this article by the philosopher
Daniel Dennett on
The practical requirements for making a conscious robot.
- The New Scientist AI and A-life site contains lots of interesting and relevant on a
broad range of topics.
- The BBC News website
has some special features on Artificial Intelligence and robotics, checks the links in the contents column on the right-hand side for more BBC news articles. The BBC also has a
'hot topic' page on AI which is worth a look.
- AI - The Movie this is the link to the Warner Bros. AI site, which has lots of links to related info
on AI and robotics, also a AI conversation 'chatbot' who you can quizz on any topic you like (and find out how little it knows!).
- AAAI movie page this page is provided by the American Association of
Artificial Intelligence to give an
introduction to AI and some of the issues raised by the Spielberg movie
- The homepage of the Loebner prize which is the official Turing Test competition, and that of a
recent winner(no computer has actually passed the test yet but there is an annual prize for the best entry), try talking to the chatterbot Alice and see what you think.
PSY304 related sites
(the following sites are mentioned in specific lectures or handouts)
- Deep Blue. Man vs Machine gives a good overview of the match and some of the issues it raises. The Deep Blue FAQ gives a lot of interesting background information. Note that it makes the claim that Deep Blue doesn't use 'Artificial Intelligence', I think what they really mean here is that it relies most on traditional AI search techniques and doesn't exploit more modern computer-reasoning methods or use learning. The FAQ is part of the large IBM chess site where you can find out more about Deep Blue and the team who built it.
- Douglas Lenat. Lenat provides a short review of AI history and of his CYC project in this Scientific American article. CYC is being developed by the company CYCORP, here is there home-page. Some more interesting links including a CYC FAQ are available here.
- Cellular Automata. Explore the space of 1-dimensional CAs using this Online interactive CA web page at Artificial Life Online (note that the rules for 1-D CAs are defined slightly differently than in the lecture handout).
- Ant Colonies. The ant foraging simulation described in the lecture was generated by a program called StarLogo. The StarLogo web-site contains information about this and other simulations of complex systems. Details of the ant simulation, including a link to the web movie shown in the lecture, are here. If you would like to try out the StarLogo program please email me (T.J.Prescott@sheffield.ac.uk) first. Another ant foraging simulation is described and illustrated at the SimulAnt site.
- Dynamic Systems The articles for the seminar are available on the web:
Van Gelder's Dynamical Approach to Cognition, and
Defending the Dynamical Hypothesis (pdf format),
The third contender: a critical evaluation of the dynamicist theory of cognition.
There is some useful background on the systems approach in biology on the
complex systems website,
definitions of many systems terms are given in the web dictionary
of cybernetics and systems, finally look here for an essay by Ludvig Von Bertalanffy and other background
on general systems theory.
- Robotics and artificial life. Gray Walter's at the University of Bristol was building autonomous, animal-like robots thirty years before the current upsurge of interest in animal-like robots.
The Grey Walter's Archive has pictures and info on these historic robots.
Here is a page dedicated to the work of Karl Sims who is famous for the artificial evolution of block-like virtual creatures that display
very life-like behaviour.
- Conscious robots? Steven Harnad's website:
Includes the seminar paper
"Does mind piggyback on robotic and symbolic capacity?" and Dennett's paper "
The practical requirements for making a conscious robot".
The Humanoid Robot group at MITthe Brooks/Dennett attempt to build a humanoid robot.
Other Interesting Sites
(the following sites may be of general interest to students and are not in any particular order)
- Celebrities in Cognitive Science contains information, biographies, and pointers to related sites for some of the most important figures in Cognitive Science- Noam Chomsky, Marvin Minsky, John Searle, Herb Simon to name a few! Note some these links are out of date.
- John McCarthy one of the founders of Artificial Intelligence has written a short article entitled What is AI? targeted at the lay reader, he also provides a copy of the original proposal for the 1956 Dartmouth Conference which is widely described as being the birth-place of AI.
- Mobile Robots at MIT contains much information and many pictures of mobile robots constructed by Rod Brooks' and his collaborators. Check out the current status of The Cog Project, an ambitious attempt to build a 'humanoid' robot.
- Gray Walter's at the University of Bristol was building autonomous, animal-like robots thirty years before the current upsurge of interest in situated cognition. The Grey Walter's Archive has pictures and info on these historic robots.
- Artificial Life Online a good starting point for exploring the Artificial Life resources on the web, the Genetic Algorithms Archive is another good place to look if your thinking about evolving artificial creatures of your own!
- Robot Models of Trace Fossils Some of my recent research has involved using robots to simulate the behavior of creatures from the PreCambrian slime 500 million years ago. Sounds Bizaare? Have a look for yourself.
- The homepage of the ACT group lead by John Anderson has lots of information on the latest version of the ACT cognitive architecture (ACT-R).
- For the more philosophically-minded, here is an online paper by Hubert Dreyfus on Intelligence without Representation.
- Lots of AI programs, languages, etc. can be downloaded from The CMU Artificial Intelligence Repository. Note, it helps if you know what your looking for and have appropriate tools for unpacking compressed files.
Other Useful Link Sites
Research in Cognitive Science and Adaptive Behavior
Find out what is happening in Cognitive Science research in Sheffield, the UK, and around the World. This is not a comprehensive list but should provide some good starting points.
University of Sheffield Research Groups
UK Research Groups
- Robotics Research Group, Computer Science, Manchester
- Mobile Robots Group, Artificial Intelligence, Edinburgh
- AI Group, Psychology, Nottingham
- School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences, Sussex
- Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems at COGS
- Centre for Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, Stirling
- Animal Robotics Laboratory, Oxford
- Intelligent Autonomous Systems Lab, UWE
- Centre for Cognitive Science, Edinburgh
International Research Groups