Title: Intuitive Physics and Intuitive Behavior
Date and time: 10th January 2017, 3 pm (Tea will be served at 2:45 pm)
Venue: KD 101, CSE Department

Abstract: The mammalian brain inspired the architecture of neural networks that 
power state of the art visual recognition systems. Is the only similarity between 
the brain and the neural networks architectural? I will show that a deep neural 
network trained for object recognition mimics the hierarchy of representations in 
the human visual cortex (http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.5104). This leads to an interesting 
hypothesis that building a neural network based system for performing visuomotor 
tasks may provide new tools for studying the neural mechanisms that integrate sensory
and motor processing. However, while superhuman performance has been achieved on 
specific visuomotor tasks (such as ATARI games), a system that can perform a general 
set of day to day object manipulation tasks is yet to be built. 

Taking inspiration from child development, I will outline how building predictive 
models that can forecast future events can be a useful precursor towards the goal 
of building machines that can perform a general set of tasks. I will present some 
preliminary results on how the ability to forecast the affect of applied actions 
on objects (i.e. intuitive physics) and the ability to forecast how humans will act 
in the future (i.e. intuitive behavior) can enable an agent to generalize and perform 
tasks beyond what it was trained for. 

Bio: Pulkit is a PhD Student in the department of Computer Science at UC Berkeley. His 
research focuses on computer vision and computational neuroscience. He is advised by 
Dr. Jitendra Malik. Pulkit completed his bachelors in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur 
and was awarded the Director’s Gold Medal. He is a recipient of Fulbright Science and 
Technology Award, Goldman Sachs Global Leadership Award, OPJEMS, Sridhar Memorial Prize 
and IIT Kanpur’s Academic Excellence Awards among others. Pulkit served as the General 
Secretary of Science and Technology Council and vice-captain of water-polo team at IIT-Kanpur. 
Pulkit holds a “Sangeet Prabhakar” (equivalent to bachelors in Indian classical Music) and 
occasionally performs in music concerts.