Interdisciplinary College

Bridging grant from the German Society for Cognitive Science (GK) for BA, MA and PhD students

Virtual IK 2020 in a nutshell

IK 2020 sadly had to be cancelled on short notice due to the current pandemic. In order to have some part of the IK experience this year, we are also going to provide an online “IK 2020 in a Nutshell”. This will include a virtual version of the poster session, course materials and/or videos for some of the courses, and online discussion forums. This “virtual IK” will be no replacement for the actual IK of course, and we can not make guarantees on the amount or quality of the material, but we are still looking forward to interacting with you and are excited to see how this experiment in providing one of the (likely) first virtual spring-school experiences will turn out.

Register now

If you wish to register for the virtual IK, there will be a registration fee, but any participant who does not have institutional funding can have this fee waived. The reason we are charging this fee is that our host organization, the GI-FBKI (AI Section of the German Society for Informatics), together with the parent organization GI itself, incurred significant costs due to the cancellation. GI as a whole is a not-for-profit membership organisation (German “e.V.”) and as a GI-FBKI event we feel obliged to do our best to limit losses. So if you – for example – happen to have external funding where it would be appropriate to apply part of that funding to registering for the virtual IK, please do so.

We will continue to add more content to the event in the upcoming weeks. Please note that you may submit your posters that have been accepted for IK 2020 regardless of whether you decide to participate in “IK 2020 in a Nutshell” and you will also receive a certificate that honours your participation (and optionally also your poster contribution), as would have happened at a normal IK.

IK2020 Focus Theme
Curiosity, Risk & Reward: Shaping Autonomous Intelligence

with Evening Lectures by:

  • Celeste Kidd, University of California, Berkeley
  • Bing Brunton, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Alex Kacelnik, Oxford University
  • Tanja Schultz, Universität Bremen

Exploring the unknown is an important element of learning. Exploring the unknown also involves risks and rewards. The scientific study of learning and development in animals, humans, artificial intelligent agents and entire societies has investigated the roles of risk and reward in many ways.

A century of intense research along these themes has led to the establishing of powerful scientific paradigms: behaviourism in psychology and neuroscience; optimal control theory in signal engineering; reinforcement learning as one of the pillars of modern machine learning; decision support systems in AI.

A current trend is to also include into the picture the purest motivation for exploration: curiosity. Curiosity arguably triggers exploration without being tied to an expected specific reward.

This year’s Interdisciplinary College explores (being itself both curiosity- and reward-driven!) the roles of curiosity, risk and reward (CRR) for the shaping of intelligence, both individual and social. The effects of CRR mechanisms can be observed on all levels from synaptic plasticity to conservatism vs. progressivism in societies.

A wide spectrum of courses will illuminate how CRR is fundamental for long-term learning and development, how it serves as a basis for and potentially conflicts with decision-making, how creative curiosity can be captured in AI systems, how it is related to its antagonists caution and fear, and how it facilitates participatory behaviour patterns in societies.

Scientific Chairs

  • Dr. Jan Smeddinck

    Dr. Jan Smeddinck
    Newcastle University
    Digital Health
  • Prof. Katharina Rohlfing

    Prof. Dr. Katharina Rohlfing
    University of Paderborn
  • Dr. Terry Stewart

    Dr. Terry Stewart
    National Research Council of Canada
    Computational Neuroscience

The IK is hosted by the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI, i.e., the German Society for Information Technology)

Logo Society of Computer Science
Logo Society of Computer Science

Supporting Institutions

We are proud to be supported by the Volkswagen Foundation.

Logo Volkswagen Foundation

We are also grateful for additional support by the German Society for Cognitive Science.

Logo Society of Cognitive Science
Logo Society of Cognitive Science