Jonathan Gratch: “Why people still matter: Modeling human behavioral processes in agents”

April 14, 2012 | Berlin, Germany

Speaker: Jonathan Gratch
Host: 11th International Conferenct on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM 2012)

At its heart, research in autonomous agents and multiagent systems is multi-disciplinary. Rooted in artificial intelligence, the AAMAS community draws heavily from research in economics and rational choices, with strong influences from cognitive and social psychology. Our research over the last ten years has struggled with how to coalesce these different research areas and methodological traditions into a single coherent research program. In this talk we argue that these influences can realize a synergy that is not only desirable but essential for advancing the field. We will discuss three interrelated rationales for joining these research traditions. First, there is increasing demand to use computational methods to simulate human emotional and social processes. Second, the rise of human-agent interaction requires methods to better understand and predict human behavior with the aim of making these interactions more effective and “human centric.” Finally, a deeper understanding of how humans solve the challenges of acting and coordinating in complex dynamic environments can lend insight into expanding narrow conceptions of rational decision-making. We will illustrate how computational models of human processes can advance each of these rationales through several research projects in our laboratory.