Why MINDS advertises the IK
Because it is really one of the most inspiring events one can find, if one is interested in how minds work and MINDS ticks.
Herbert Jaeger has been active in the executive board of the IK since more than a decade, has served as program chair in 2004, 2009 and 2015, and is now the elected secretary general of the executive board.
What it always is
The Interdisciplinary College (IK) is an annual, intense one-week spring school which offers a dense state-of-the-art course program in neurobiology, neural computation, cognitive science/psychology, artificial intelligence, robotics and philosophy. Courses include introductions to the main fields of the IK, as well as an in-depth treatment of a focus topic which is changing from year to year, explored in about two dozens of special courses. And last but not least, the IK is a unique social event. In the evenings participants may enjoy the very special atmosphere: minds meet, music is played, and friends are made in long evening and night sessions in the welcoming conference site at Lake Möhne.
What it would have been in 2020The IK 2020 (13-20 March 2020) wanted to explore the theme Curiosity, Risk and Reward: Shaping Autonomous Intelligence. The event was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions and will be relaunched in 2021. The scientific study of learning and development in animals, humans, artificial intelligent agents and entire societies has investigated the roles of curiosity, risk and reward (CRR) in many ways. 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.
What it was in 2019
The IK 2019 (March 12-19, 2019) focused on the theme Out of Your Senses: From Data to Insight. This IK explored how data in many forms can be processed to yield condensed and insightful information. An emphasis was be placed on senses, sensors, and the evaluation of the resulting data: Basic and methods courses in biology, computer science, philosophy, and engineering will be complemented by sessions on data analysis, sensor technology, biological sensory systems, and the interplay of sensing with self and society.
What it was in 2018
The 2018 edition of the IK focussed on the theme Me, my Self, and I and addresses questions such as: Who am I? Where is my self? What is it like to be me? In doing so, courses addressed different aspects of self models, self perception, and self consciousness using different epistemic and theoretical approaches in a truly interdisciplinary fashion.
What it was in 2017
The 2017 edition of the IK explored the focus theme Creativity and Intelligence in Brains and Machines. While creativity often starts out on an individual basis, and creative acts are ultimately implemented by individuals, society very often enables creativity to happen either in making creative individuals collaborate, or giving rise to a genuinely collective creative process.
What it was in 2016
The 2016 edition of the IK explored the focus theme Transitions and Transformations in Cognition, Biology, and Interactive Systems. It addressed questions like, When does a group of cells become an organism, or a group of organisms become a society? How do natural systems survive and adapt to changing external environments? How do humans change in individual and social function as they age?
What it was in 2015
The 2015 edition of the IK, themed Integration of Behavior and Cognition, cast its focus on complete, autonomous agents - animals, humans, robots, and software characters. An extensive offering of courses was grouped under the perspectives of "Complete Cognitive Architectures", "Person, Identity, Dignity", "Engineering Agents", "Neurons, Muscles, Bodies", and "Language and Thought".
What it was in 2014
The 2014 edition of the IK was devoted to the focus theme Cognition 3.0 – the Social Mind in the Connected World. The event provided an interdisciplinary view of social and interactive approaches to cognition. “Social minds” courses discussed the basic cognitive prerequisites for social interaction ; “social interaction” courses addressed topics like joint action coordination, empathy, adaptation and alignment; and “groups and social systems” courses covered swarm intelligence, wisdom of the crowds, and social media.
What it was in 2013
The2013 edition of the IK was devoted to the focus theme Wicked Problems, Complexity and Wisdom. It presented research on wisdom, complex problem solving, system complexity, decision support, and complex planning both theoretical and practical. The main focus was on how to model and to explain the human capacity to create and solve complex problems from different disciplinary perspectives.
What it was in 2012
The 2012 edition of the IK was devoted to the focus theme Emotion and Aesthetics. Specific courses addressed the neural correlates of emotion and aesthetics, the influence of emotions on behavior and motivation, and psychological and neurobiological approaches to music and film. There were also courses on "affective computing", a quickly developing field of AI and robotics research.
What it was in 2011
The 2011 edition of the IK was devoted to the focus theme Autonomy, Decisions and Free Will. Courses addressed topics such as the philosophy and neuroscience of free will, cognitive models of decision making, rationality and heuristics, intentional agents and BDI systems, interdisciplinary approaches to volition, intentions, control, self-regulation and task scheduling.