Embodied Prospection Through the Eyes
Cognitive scientists and philosophers have proposed a theory of cognition that casts the mind as an internal model of the world, and suggests that we leverage this model through simulation: the generation (and embodied experience) of likely sensorimotor sequences. Such simulations may help us reason about not only the present, but enable evaluation and experimentation on multiple counterfactual futures. To date, the role of the motor system in these high level cognitive processes has been understudied. I will present the outlines for a theory of visually-guided future-oriented simulation, as well as select empirical results from my dissertation work. These include results from an eye-tracking study of navigation planning under uncertainty, as well as demonstrations of a visually-guided agent model taking on the same task. Finally, I will make a case that these ideas help us better understand privacy risks in an era when technology companies and other actors seek to leverage increasingly rich biometric data to infer deeply sensitive attributes such as our plans and intentions.
Dr. Jeremy Gordon is currently a member at South Park Commons in New York.
Earlier this year, he completed his Ph.D. at Berkeley's School of Information where he studied mental simulation and embodied, prospective cognition.
Before that, he studied engineering at Stanford, was a UI designer at a startup in Tokyo, and a fellow with Kiva.org in Kenya. He co-founded Echo Mobile, an SMS/voice-based survey & engagement platform based in Nairobi.