somewhere in Georgia (it's a country)

Marina Dubova

I am a Cognitive Science PhD student at Indiana University and a graduate visitor at the Center for Formal Epistemology at Carnegie Mellon University. My current research is scattered around these topics:

  1. I study grounded language learning in humans and AI, focusing on the effects of various aspects of naturalistic data, tasks, and learning curricula on concept learning. I take inspiration from the idea that natural communication is grounded in one’s goals, perception, and action in the world. I examine 1) why grounding is essential for human language learning, 2) what concrete aspects of grounding should be incorporated into language-learning AI systems to improve their capabilities, and 3) how this can be done.

  2. I investigate whether & in what ways learning new concepts and their labels influences how we perceive the world and what we are able to do.

  3. I study the mechanisms underlying the development of communication systems (e.g. human languages!) in groups of agents. Here, I am interested in the following questions: 1) how do the properties of evolved communicative systems depend on the learning mechanisms, communicative goals, and the structure of social interactions between the agents, 2) what pressures lead a group to converge on a shared set of communicative conventions, 3) what pressures force a group to increase and diversify their set of communicative conventions (e.g. number of categories that the words refer to).

  4. To (hopefully!) enable effective progress on topics 1-3 (and more), I investigate the foundations of scientific methodology. Here, I attempt to rigorously test the efficiency of different epistemic strategies that the agents can follow when they are trying to learn about the world.

I combine theoretical analyses, behavioral experiments, and computational simulations in my research.

When I am not learning or studying learning, I like to play music, sing, travel, conduct clay & glazing studies, and improve my bird categorization skills.

I am always enthusiastic to discuss your/my research and ideas. Please, feel free to contact me :)

Cognitive Scientists who shaped my thinking the most: James McClelland & David Rumelhart, Andy Clark, Linda Smith, Sam Gershman, Rob Goldstone, Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, Randall Beer, Uri Hasson, Brian Skyrms, Luc Steels

I am grateful to be supported by these people: Arseny Moskvichev, Polina Greskova, Alexey Filippov, Roman Tikhonov, Vili Hätönen, George Moroz, Grigory Anufriev, Thomas Gorman, Eleanor Schille-Hudson, Rob Goldstone, Peter Todd + many others


Summer 2022: I am supported by the CNS-NRT summer fellowship

May 2022 - ...: I am co-organizing the Augmented Intelligence workshop

April 29, 2022: gave a talk "Against theory-motivated experimentation" at the Pittsburgh Formal Epistemology Workshop

January 21, 2022: our (with R. Goldstone) work showing unequal influences of categories on the color perception of simultaneously present objects is published in Cognition

January 18 - May 6, 2022: I am visiting the Center for Formal Epistemology and Department of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University!

December 30, 2021: my (solo-author!) review paper on building human-like communicative AI is published in Cognitive Systems Research

December 28, 2021: I am awarded with IU Cognitive Science supplemental fellowship

September 13, 2021: I successfully defended my PhD qualification papers:)

August 22, 2021: I submitted two PhD qualification papers to IU cognitive science program! The papers are on 1) making progress in cognitive science and 2) grounded language learning in AI.

July 26-29, 2021: I am presenting a poster "Categories affect color perception of only some simultaneously present objects" at the Cognitive Science Society conference.

July 21, 2021: I am giving an invited talk "Growing opportunities to grow: towards a model of open-ended communication learning" at the Social Learning and Cultural Evolution workshop

July 18 - July 23, 2021: I am participating at my favorite ALIFE conference, where I am presenting some preliminary results on modeling open-ended communication learning in groups!

June 14 - July 2, 2021: I am participating at the SFI Complexity Interactive summer school! Our group project is called "Mapping Complexity: An Epistemological Look at Methods of Study & Discovery"

June 1 - August 23, 2021: I am supported by the CNS-NRT summer fellowship

May 21, 2021: my very first journal paper "The Influences of Category Learning on Perceptual Reconstructions" got published in the Cognitive Science journal!

April 6, 2021: I am participating at the Mechanisms of Learning Forum at Emory University as an affiliate of the Building a Mind Lab

March 26, 2021: I gave an invited talk "Categorical Perception Meets El Greco" at the HSE Cognitive Research Lab Meeting

Sept 17 - Sept 25, 2020: I am presenting our work "The Influences of Category Learning on Perceptual Reconstructions" at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society: check out our poster here!

Sept 17 - Sept 25, 2020: Presenting our work "Reinforcement Communication Learning in Different Social Network Structures" at NetSci!

July 29 - Aug 1, 2020: Participating at CogSci annual conference!

July 18, 2020: Presenting our work "Reinforcement Communication Learning in Different Social Network Structures" at ICML Language and Reinforcement Learning workshop!

July 16, 2020: I'm presenting the work "Effects of Supervision, Population Size, and Self-Play on Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning to Communicate" at ALIFE conference (feel free to join the discussion!)

July 13 - July 18, 2020: I am participating at ALIFE and ICML conferences!

June 22July 3, 2020: I will attend SINSA2020 (won fee remission by IUNI-SINSA Scholars program)

June 14 – July 10, 2020: I will attend the Complex Systems Summer School at Santa Fe Institute (whoa!)

March 12 .... 2020: I am isolating at home, drinking tea, and working *very productively*

March 1 – March 3, 2020: I gave a talk on the mechanisms of categorical perception at Emory University, Georgia (Mechanisms of Learning Forum)