• Wework (map)
  • Park Avenue South
  • New York, NY
  • United States

Speaker: Christoph Salge, University of Hertfordshire / New York University


What makes a mind want to do things in the first place? AI research focuses a lot on how to achieve a given goal or optimize for a given utility function. But how are these goals acquired in the first place, and are all possible utility functions suitable to motivate an AI towards more complex and interesting behavior? It is hard to imagine that one could build a conscious agent that has no genuine goals or essential motivations.

The concept of intrinsic motivation (IM), an idea that originated in developmental psychology, sheds some light on these questions. Computational approaches to intrinsic motivation, which try to capture the essential driving forces for agency, have been applied to robotics, machine learning and artificial life systems.

In this talk, I will outline the properties of various computational approaches and discuss their benefits. I will then focus on empowerment, and intrinsic motivation that captures how much an agent is in control of the world it can itself perceive. I will show some examples from recent research that illustrate the behavior that can be generated with the empowerment formalism, and outline some practical applications.

Location: WeWork Park South, New York, NY

Registration is required. Click here to register.