MCCHE Precision Convergence Webinar Series with Mark Daley

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 11:00to13:00

Computation May Be All You Need: Is Intelligence Convergent?

By Mark Daley

Full professor / Department of Computer Science, Western University

With High-Level Panel of Leaders in Science, Technology, On-the-Ground Action, and Policy

Large language models evolving from artificial intelligence and other recent digital capacity build-ing are eating the world by getting bigger. What higher order lessons might we extract from this unreasonable effec-tiveness of scaling? In this presentation, I will return all the way to the origin of neural nets and review the foundational ambitions of McCulloch and Pitts through the computationalist lens of the early program of Putnam and Fodor. We then jump to the present, adopting an empirical stance, asking how LLMs challenge our notions of human creativity, intelligence, and personhood. Focussing on intelligence, we take a brief detour to engage with Sutton’s “bitter les-son” (more computation is all you need), and survey known exemplars of intelligence. We question the existence of Aaron Sloman’s “exotic minds” by suggesting that his space of possible minds is, in fact, degenerate. We close by pull-ing the thread of precision convergence through our discussion, arriving at the Singular Intelligence Hypothe-sis. Discussion will bear on computational rationality as a key bridge between human and machine decision making and behavior.

About the speaker

Mark Daley is the chief digital information officer at Western University, a full professor in the Department of Computer Science at Western University, with cross-appointments in multiple departments, The Rotman Institute of Philosophy, and The Western Institute for Neuroscience. He is also a faculty affiliate of Toronto's Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Mark has previously served as the Vice-President, Research at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research(CIFAR), and Associate Vice-President (Research) and Special Advisor to the President at Western. Mark was the institutional administrative lead for the successful Canada First Research Excellent Fund proposal “BrainSCAN: Healthy Canadian Brains for Life”. $66M. He has published over 100 research articles and has been awarded U.S, European, and Chinese patents for metabo-lomics profiling of concussion and has US patents pending for COVID-19 diagnostics.

About the series

The Precision Convergence series is launched to catalyze unique synergy between, on the one hand, novel partnerships across sciences, sectors and jurisdictions around targeted domains of real-world solutions, and on the other hand, a next generation convergence of AI with advanced research computing and other data and digital architectures such as PSC’s Bridges-2, and supporting data sharing frameworks such as HuBMAP, informing in a real time as possible the design, deployment and monitoring of solutions for adaptive real-world behaviour and context.

The Precision Convergence Webinar Series is co-hosted by The McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE) at McGill University and The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, a joint computational research centre between Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.


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