Cognitive Psychologist Tom Griffiths Presented with Early Career Impact Award
July 29, 2014
Bias is usually thought to cause problems, but some kinds of bias can also help us solve problems. In fact, bias is an essential part of how we understand the world around us, says cognitive psychologist and FABBS Foundation Early Career Impact Award Winner Tom Griffiths of the University of California at Berkeley. Every day, we are required to draw inferences, or educated guesses, about everything from what will happen if we turn a door knob to whether the foods we eat are safe. Our brains sometimes have little data from which to draw these conclusions, so they have to rely on our past experiences and our evolving beliefs about how the world works. Yet they are remarkably accurate. Griffiths’s work is illuminating why, and using that information to teach computers how to make inferences – one of the few areas in which they are less effective than humans.
(Above) Dr. Thomas Griffiths (left) was presented with the FABBS Foundation Early Career Impact Award by Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow, President of the Cognitive Science Society and FABBS Foundation Board Member, at the Cognitive Science Society annual meeting in July 2014 in Quebec City, Canada.