Abstract: Human toddlers (1 to 2 year olds) are not all that smart. They cannot play chess or go, they cannot drive cars, they cannot do math. But in many ways they are much smarter than many forms of artificial intelligence and particularly with respect to visual objects. They can recognize chairs, for example, from silhouettes and shadows, from line drawings and parts, upside down and upside right, and occluded, and they know you can sit on them. This talk is about the visual experiences of toddlers, how those experiences are created by toddlers through their own bodily activities, and how these experiences yield nuanced, inventive, intelligence --and also common sense -- about objects.
Speaker bio: Linda B. Smith, Distinguished Professor at Indiana University Bloomington,is an internationally recognized leader in cognitive science and cognitive development. Taking a complex systems perspective, she seeks to understand the interdependencies among perceptual, motor and cognitive developments during the first three years of post-natal life. Using wearable sensors, including head-mounted cameras, she studies how the young learner’s own behavior creates learning experiences. The work has led to novel insights currently being extended through collaborations to robotics and artificial intelligence. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977 and immediately joined the faculty at Indiana University. She won the David E. Rumelhart Prize for theoretical contributions to cognitive science and is an elected member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Science.