Introduction: Brains, Minds & Machines



The Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines is dedicated to the study of intelligence—how the brain produces intelligent behaviour and how this can be replicated in machines.

The field of Artificial Intelligence has produced impressive machines, such as Deep Blue, Watson, and Siri, that can beat a world chess champion, win the game of Jeopardy, and communicate in natural language. Yet few would view their behavior as brain-like or human intelligence. Computers still fare poorly on tasks that even young infants can perform, such as answering simple questions about a visual scene, Who is there? What are they doing? What happened previously? What will happen next? In this short introduction, Tomaso Poggio talks about how the synergy of recent advances in neuroscience, cognitive science, and AI, will enable us to understand the processes underlying human intelligence, from the neural circuits of the brain to the level of cognitive behavior.


Useful Background

  • No background is needed for this introduction
  • This short opinion piece captures some of the motivation for studying the science of intelligence: Koch, Christof, and Tomaso Poggio. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.“A Science of Intelligence.” (PDF) Center for Brains Minds and Machines Views & Reviews (2015).

Videos and Slides

Further Study

Additional information about the speaker’s research and publications can be found at his website: Tomaso Poggio, MIT

Poggio, T., and E. Meyers. “Turing++ Questions: A Test for the Science of (Human) Intelligence.” (PDF) AI Magazine 37, no. 1 (2016): 73–77.

Syllabus: Brains, Minds & Machines