Documentation:Research Commons/FIRE Talks/2013-2014/Learning Machines

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FIREtalk Information

Learning Machines

The Research Commons invites grad students from every discipline - engineers, philosophers, computer scientists, writers, neuroscientists, artists, social theorists, etc. - to explore the boundary between mind and machine. Join us for our next FIREtalk, Learning Machines.

When: Wednesday, November 27, 4-6 pm

Where: Koerner Library, Room 216

About the topic

What are some cutting edge applications of computers and machines that help improve human life? What are the different approaches to the study and design of learning and intelligence? How can systems learn from data? What natural behaviors can be simulated by a machine? Can the brain be interpreted as a computer? How do our cultural perceptions of machines influence the way we interact with them? Where can speculative fiction and other works of the imagination take artificial intelligence?


  • The Construction of Cyber Agency and the Rhetorical Autonomy of Social Bots - Douglas Guilbeault (Cognitive Linguistics)
  • Mining the Brain - Mostafa Mohsenvand (Neuroscience)
  • The Case for Negotiating Robots - AJung Moon (Collaborative Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory - CARIS Lab)
  • Becoming Smarter, Faster: the use of transcranial current stimulation to enhance learning - Dano Morrison (Kurt Haas Lab at the Brain Research Centre)
  • Talking to Machines: My thoughts on how machine learning can help computers understand us - Adrian Lindsay (Computer Science/Neuroscience)
  • Reading Machines: when Science and the Arts Converge. - Heather Allen (Literature/Neuroscience)

Who Should Attend

Graduate students from any UBC department!

Interested but don’t want to present? Attend as an audience member and join the discussion after the presentations! To attend without presenting, register here.

FIREtalk Resources

Thanks to our presenters for suggesting many of these resources.



Publications and Researchers

(Click on linked title to connect to ebooks online; click on Print for call number and location information of print books.)

Coulson, S. (2008). Framing and blending in persuasive discourse. In R. R. Favretti (Ed.), Frames, Corpora, and Knowledge Representation (pp. 33-42). Bologna: Bononia University Press.

Antonio Damasio

Deheane, S. (2009). Reading in the brain : the science and evolution of a human invention. New York: Viking. (Print)

Gregg, R. (1984). Symbolic Inducement and Knowing: A Study in the Foundations of Rhetoric. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. (Print).

Marco Iacoboni

Miller, C. (2003). Writing in a Culture of Simulation: Ethos Online. In M. Nystrand and J. Duffy (Eds.), Towards a Rhetoric of Everyday Life: New Directions in Research on Writing, Text, and Discourse (pp. 58-83). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. (Print)

Steven Pinker