Tickets: Student tickets are £15, standard tickets are £20 (including Eventbrite fees), available HERE


Directions and parking

Information re venue location, parking, and layout may be found HERE


18:30 Pull up a groove and get fabulous! (a.k.a. registration – please arrive early)

19:00 Scheduled talk: "Capturing Intelligence at the Level of Thought"

20:00 Pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza! (Stimulating conversation encouraged…)

21:00 Event close – you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!



About the talk

Title: "Capturing Intelligence at the Level of Thought"


Today’s neural networks tantalize us with their apparent creativity and insight, yet we may also feel that they aren’t really thoughtful cognizing minds like those of ourselves and our peers.  What’s the difference?  I have come to feel that it may be useful to think that these systems don’t really have thoughts in the same sense that we do.  Thus, I have set out on a quest to think about how we might better build model systems that can capture intelligence at the level of thought.  In this talk I’ll describe what I mean by a thought, how it is that I see these systems as failing to operate at the level of thought, and some steps I and others are taking that I see as working toward the goal of understanding how to solve this interesting and challenging problem at the intersection of the sciences of mind, brain, and computation.

About the speaker

James L. (Jay) McClelland is a Cognitive Scientist who has used neural network models to explore the mechanisms of human and machine intelligence for nearly 50 years.  In the late 1970’s he introduced a neural network model capturing the dynamics of activation flow through a neural network.  He then teamed up with David Rumelhart, the inventor of the learning algorithm that powers todays neural-network based language models and many other machine learning systems.  Together they produced the two-volume work Parallel Distributed Processing (MIT Press, 1986) that kindled the second wave of neural network research beginning in the mid 1980’s.  McClelland led the creation the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh in the 1990’s, then moved to Stanford University, where he led the creation of the Center for Mind, Brain and Computation in 2008.  He is the Lucie Stern Professor in the Psychology Department at Stanford, and holds courtesy appointments in Computer Science and Linguistics, and he is currently a Consultant Research Scientist at Google DeepMind.

About CAIS

Cambridge AI Social (CAIS) seeks to deliver a series of in-person “AI + pizza” events (CAIS Lectures) in Cambridge (one of Europe’s hottest AI hubs!)

Fundamental to the CAIS vision are:

  • speakers must be a recognised world leader in their field
  • events are non-profit, with minimal cost to attendees
  • each event comprises a roughly one-hour talk followed by socialisation (with pizza!) 


CAIS would not be possible without the support of its sponsors:

Please note

  • This is an in-person event (audience and speaker), and will not be livestreamed.
  • A recording of the talk, and images of the event, will be captured as part of the event.
  • Your personal image, voice, etc may be among the audio, video, and images captured.
  • By attending an event you are granting us permission to use these recordings/images.
  • These recordings (audio and video) and images may later be disseminated by CAIS.
  • For example, CAIS may post images and event videos to its website, and to YouTube.
  • In particular, CAIS may license the event video to e.g. commercial VoD channels.
  • In order to qualify for a student ticket, you must be enrolled on a full-time course
  • ... please bring your student ID to the event so that the registration desk can check it!
  • We may sometimes need to find a replacement speaker (e.g. due to a cancellation)
  • ... unfortunately, in this eventuality, we will be unable to provide refunds.
  • CAIS events are held in shared indoor spaces such as auditoria, canteens, etc.
  • Do not attend if you have symptoms of a communicable disease (e.g. COVID, cold, flu).
  • We cannot be held liable should you contract a communicable disease at a CAIS event.
  • Service animals only – please do not bring any dogs/pets/emotional support animals.
  • We reserve the right to refuse admission to anyone for any reason.
  • Any ticket holder refused admission will be offered a partial refund.
  • Ticket holders will be fully refunded should an entire event be cancelled.