Thomas J. Sargent public lecture

Sources of artificial intelligence

A 2023 Goldsmith public lecture presented by Professor Thomas J. Sargent

Hosted by The Australian National University Research School of Economics

This lecture is about human and artificial intelligence and learning. Tom takes ‘artificial’ to mean ‘non-human’.

Before describing artificial intelligence and machine learning, Tom will state his understanding of what natural or human intelligence is by describing salient classes of activities that a combination of innate and learned skills enable intelligent people to perform: recognising patterns and making choices. Other aspects of intelligence are awareness of time and space, and also sympathy and empathy with other people. Successive generations of parents pass on to their children tools and perspectives that their parents taught them, as well as new ideas that they have learned.

After describing how Galileo and Darwin combined their innate talents with their text-book knowledge to create scientific breakthroughs, Tom will tell how modern researchers have designed computer programs that can recognise patterns and make choices.