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1 - 10 of 39 results for: SYMSYS

SYMSYS 1: Minds and Machines (LINGUIST 35, PHIL 99, PSYCH 35)

(Formerly SYMSYS 100). An overview of the interdisciplinary study of cognition, information, communication, and language, with an emphasis on foundational issues: What are minds? What is computation? What are rationality and intelligence? Can we predict human behavior? Can computers be truly intelligent? How do people and technology interact, and how might they do so in the future? Lectures focus on how the methods of philosophy, mathematics, empirical research, and computational modeling are used to study minds and machines. Undergraduates considering a major in symbolic systems should take this course as early as possible in their program of study.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-FR

SYMSYS 17SI: Evaluating Education Technology

This seminar assesses the impact of education technologies on learners, teachers, and education systems. Through weekly case studies of ed tech ventures, students will experience and evaluate popular education technologies such as VR, personalized learning, makerspaces, and MOOCs. Additionally, students will develop a toolkit of concepts including critical pedagogy, constructivism, behaviorism, and social reconstructionism which they can use to assess education technologies and their personal contributions to the field. This course will focus largely on ventures in the U.S., but the frameworks developed will be applicable to equity and access issues in education throughout the world. Apply here at https://goo.gl/forms/vv3k0BXvioH2Etby2 by March 30th at 5 pm.
Terms: Spr | Units: 1-2
Instructors: Wolf, J. (PI)

SYMSYS 112: Challenges for Language Systems (SYMSYS 212)

Parallel exploration of philosophical and computational approaches to modeling the construction of linguistic meaning. In philosophy of language: lexical sense extension, figurative speech, the semantics/pragmatics interface, contextualism debates. In CS: natural language understanding, from formal compositional models of knowledge representation to statistical and deep learning approaches. We will develop an appreciation of the complexities of language understanding and communication; this will inform discussion of the broader prospects for Artificial Intelligence. Special attention will be paid to epistemological questions on the nature of linguistic explanation, and the relationship between theory and practice. PREREQUISITES: PHIL80; some exposure to philosophy of language and/or computational language processing is recommended.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4

SYMSYS 115: Critique of Technology

What is the character of technology? How does technology reveal aspects of human nature and social practices? How does it shape human experience and values? We will survey the history of philosophy of technology -- from ancient and enlightenment ideas, to positivist and phenomenological conceptions -- to develop a deeper understanding of diverse technological worldviews. This will prepare us to consider contemporary questions about the "ethos" of technology. Specific questions will vary depending upon the interests of participants, but may include: ethical and existential challenges posed by artificial intelligence; responsible product design in the "attention economy"; industry regulation and policy issues for information privacy; and the like. PREREQUISITES: PHIL80
Last offered: Spring 2017

SYMSYS 122: Artificial Intelligence: Philosophy, Ethics, & Impact

Recent advances in computing may place us at the threshold of a unique turning point in human history. Soon we are likely to entrust management of our environment, economy, security, infrastructure, food production, healthcare, and to a large degree even our personal activities, to artificially intelligent computer systems. The prospect of "turning over the keys" to increasingly autonomous systems raises many complex and troubling questions. How will society respond as versatile robots and machine-learning systems displace an ever-expanding spectrum of blue- and white-collar workers? Will the benefits of this technological revolution be broadly distributed or accrue to a lucky few? How can we ensure that these systems respect our ethical principles when they make decisions at speeds and for rationales that exceed our ability to comprehend? What, if any, legal rights and responsibilities should we grant them? And should we regard them merely as sophisticated tools or as a newly emerging form of life? The goal of this course is to equip students with the intellectual tools, ethical foundation, and psychological framework to successfully navigate the coming age of intelligent machines.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER

SYMSYS 130: Research Methods in the Cognitive and Information Sciences

Understanding the different methodological approaches used in disciplines that study cognition and information. Emphasis is on philosophical/analytical, formal/mathematical, empirical, and computational thinking styles, with some attention to other methods as well. What assumptions underlie these methods? How can they be combined? How do practitioners of each discipline think differently about problems, and what are the challenges involved in studying or working across them?
Last offered: Spring 2013


A weekly seminar allowing students the opportunity to discuss and explore cryptocurrencies from a variety of domains and view points:nn1) Explore the history of fiat currencies, both economically and philosophically. How does Bitcoin mesh in here? What are advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional fiat currencies? (~2 weeks) n2) Contextualize and juxtapose decentralized currencies with respect to TCP/IP, Napster, and other relevant decentralized and cloud protocols. (~2 weeks)n3) Work through and understand Satoshi¿s initial protocol and proof-of-work mining system. What problem did she solve? How? Why was it important? How can we prove it mathematically? What are significant game theoretic and cryptographic weaknesses? What do alternative cryptocurrencies look like? Is there a `best¿ alternative? (~3 weeks)n4) What does ¿Bitcoin as a protocol¿ mean? What can be built on top of it? What¿s being built around it? What does regulation look like? What are hypotheses for the future of digital currencies? How do we explain investor confidence, given regulatory hesitation? (~3 weeks)
Last offered: Spring 2014

SYMSYS 161: Applied Symbolic Systems: Venture Capital, Artificial Intelligence, and The Future (SYMSYS 261)

A weekly seminar allowing students the opportunity to discuss and explore applied Symbolic Systems in technology, entrepreneurship, and venture capital. We will explore popular conventions and trends through the lens of numerous deductive and applied Symbolic Systems.
Terms: Spr | Units: 2 | Repeatable for credit

SYMSYS 170: Decision Behavior: Theory and Evidence (SYMSYS 270)

Introduction to the study of judgment and decision making, relating theory and evidence from disciplines such as psychology, economics, statistics, neuroscience, and philosophy. The development and critique of Homo economicus as a model of human behavior, and more recent theories based on empirical findings. Recommended: background in formal reasoning.
Last offered: Spring 2010

SYMSYS 184: Syntactic Theory and Implementation (LINGUIST 184)

Analysis and implementation of grammatical phenomena of English. Introduction to a theory of formal grammar, and its computational realization. Practical experience in forming linguistic hypotheses and testing them via implementation using state-of-the-art language technology.
Last offered: Autumn 2015
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