Discussion: Philosophy pd sessions follow up

Just wanted to create a space to continue conversations from the two amazing philosophy talks this weekend during the professional development sessions.

Causal vs generative, the nature of computation, ‘emergence’, embodiment, and other topics to be discussed ahead!

Crowdcast links:
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/nma/22 (PD 6.1 Philosophy & consciousness )
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/nma/23 (PD 6.2 Philosophy / Robotics / embodiment )


Thank you very much for opening up this discussion. Wanted to ask there are some methods (e.g. dynamic causal modeling) to give causal relationship between different brain areas for fMRI, EEG, MEG data. However, I don’t know how those methods gives actual causality. From philosophical perspective, in order to develop some knowledge about how computational methods gives us causality, where should I look at?

Yes, thank you! My question during the discussion was how we might program a more general artificial intelligence with the sorts of statistically independent mechanisms (analogous to those related to thermoregulation) that lead to robustness to bodily and environmental context differences, given that we may not know a priori which environmental/bodily variables are important and how they relate, especially in a fringe case such as an adversarial attack? Evolutionary AI?

@aducote Not sure if I will be helpful but multivariate pattern analysis might be interesting in your case for general artificial intelligence part

Some links and book mentions I scraped from the chat

^ Bickle 2015

Theoretical Neuroscience textbook http://www.gatsby.ucl.ac.uk/~dayan/book/

Re Embodiment:/ affordances
Gibson (ecological psychology)
Francisco Varela (The Embodied Mind ; Principles of Biological Autonomy)
Anthony Chemero (Radical Embodied Cognition)

any others?
There were some books that I missed and other things at the early part of the talk I haven’t reviewed yet. @LisaMiracchi @meganakpeters @(not sure if Pascal has a tag here),

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As a follow up q, is Lisa Miracchi actively mentoring any groups here at NMA? I’d be curious what data they are using and what projects they are working on.

I don’t think Lisa is doing a formal project mentorship as far as I know, but we’ll get her a Neurostars invite (I believe this is set up backend already). Lisa is great though so, without speaking for her of course, I feel like she might be up for some fun conversations.

I’m so glad you set this up, @jparent! These sessions were extremely engaging for me too (perhaps obviously). I spend a lot of time thinking about how philosophy and science can inform each other, and I think it’s really important that we as scientists draw on the wisdom and insight provided by scholars like Lisa and others who have spent much time thinking about the intersection between philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and empirical/computational neuroscience. As we started with the entire NMA program, thinking about what we are doing with modeling, why we are doing it, and each model’s strengths and limitations is a really powerful and worthy endeavor.

Looking forward to this ongoing conversation and its progress; keep the ideas coming everybody.