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Human-level Artificial Intelligence

EECS 395-22, Spring 2010

Course description

The combination of increasing computational power, off-the-shelf resources, and steady scientific progress in AI and Cognitive Science has lead to a revolution in the kinds of AI systems that can be built. This seminar will explore the state of the art in AI systems that capture larger constellations of human cognitive abilities and the problems that lie ahead in creating human-level AIs. Extensive reading, writing, and discussion will be required, as well as a term project.

Prerequisites: EECS 348 or equivalent AI course, plus at least one other AI course.


Course Requirements & Mechanics

This course requires significant amounts of reading, thinking, discussing, writing, and presenting. You should typically expect between 24 and 70 pages of reading per week. In addition to the reading, you are expected to do the following:
  1. At least four class presentations plus briefing papers during the quarter. These will summarize and critique the assigned articles.
  2. Reaction notes. Before the start of each class, you must turn in via email a brief (equivalent of one page) written reaction to the readings for that class. The idea is to explore the implications of the papers, by comparing and contrasting them, and thinking about what questions they raise, implications, etc.
  3. Term project. Term projects can either delve further into the literature in some area discussed in class, in ways relevant to our focus, or can be computational experiments to explore some of the ideas discussed in class. In both cases, you will be expected to explore additional sources beyond the reading in the class, and synthesize the relevant literature. Term project writeups will be between 15 and 20 pages, excluding source code, if any.
  4. Pop quizzes. Generally unnecessary, since a vibrant discussion where everyone is participating provides ample evidence of understanding. But if it seems that students are not doing the reading, pop quizzes may occur.

The 24 hour deadline for posting materials is crucial: People need to be able to download materials and have them in class. How you choose to bring materials to class is your choice: some like soft-copy, others like paper. However, to minimize our environmental footprint, all materials turned in must be soft-copy -- no dead trees allowed. Similarly, the one page Reaction Notes must be turned in (via email only) before class, so that they represent your own thinking about the materials. Late postings will be penalized.


The syllabus is still under construction. Local copies of the papers are available through Blackboard.

Last edited 3/26/10 by KDF