The Philosophy of Deep Learning

March 25, 2023 - March 26, 2023
Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness, New York University

New York
United States

View the Call For Papers


  • Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience program at Columbia University


Stanford University
New York University
Brenden Lake
New York University
Tal Linzen
New York University
Columbia University
Columbia University
School of Advanced Study, University of London


New York University
New York University
Columbia University

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The conference will explore current issues in AI research from a philosophical perspective, with particular attention to recent work on deep artificial neural networks. The goal is to bring together philosophers and scientists who are thinking about these systems in order to gain a better understanding of their capacities, their limitations, and their relationship to human cognition.

The conference will focus especially on topics in the philosophy of cognitive science (rather than on topics in AI ethics and safety). It will explore questions such as:

  • What cognitive capacities, if any, do current deep learning systems possess?
  • What cognitive capacities might future deep learning systems possess?
  • What kind of representations can we ascribe to artificial neural networks?
  • Could a large language model genuinely understand language?
  • What do deep learning systems tell us about human cognition, and vice versa?
  • How can we develop a theoretical understanding of deep learning systems?
  • How do deep learning systems bear on philosophical debates such as rationalism vs empiricism and classical vs. nonclassical views of cognition.
  • What are the key obstacles on the path from current deep learning systems to human-level cognition?

A pre-conference debate on Friday, March 24th will tackle the question “Do large language models need sensory grounding for meaning and understanding ?”. Speakers include Jacob Browning (New York University), David Chalmers (New York University), Yann LeCun (New York University), and Ellie Pavlick (Brown University / Google AI).

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Who is attending?

4 people are attending:

Brown University
and 2 more.

1 person may be attending:

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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Custom tags:

#deep learning, #computer science, #artificial intelligence, #large language models, #generative algorithms