Paul Bello

Paul Bello
United States Naval Research Laboratory | NRL · Information Technology Division

PhD, Cognitive Science

About

69
Publications
11,126
Reads
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658
Citations
Additional affiliations
May 2007 - May 2014
Office of Naval Research
Position
  • Program Officer: Cognitive Science and HRI
October 2002 - May 2007
Air Force Research Laboratory
Position
  • Computer Scientist

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
Full-text available
Mindreading is the ability to understand both oneself and other agents in terms of beliefs, desires, intentions and other relevant mental states. This critically important ability has been implicated across a broad spectrum of human cognitive activities, including participation in dialogue, collaboration, competition, and moral judgment. This paper...
Article
Full-text available
As intelligent machines assume an increasingly prominent role in our lives, there seems little doubt they eventually be called on to make important, ethically charged decisions. We think formal logic offers a way to preclude doomsday scenarios of malicious robots taking over the world. Faced with the challenge of engineering ethically correct robot...
Article
Computational models will play an important role in our understanding of human higher-order cognition. How can a model's contribution to this goal be evaluated? This article argues that three important aspects of a model of higher-order cognition to evaluate are (a) its ability to reason, solve problems, converse, and learn as well as people do; (b...
Article
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We describe a cognitive architecture for creating more robust intelligent systems. Our approach is to enable hybrids of algorithms based on different computational formalisms to be executed. The architecture is motivated by some features of human cognitive architecture and the following beliefs: 1) Most existing computational methods often exhibit...
Article
When comparing the roles of the lightning strike and the dry climate in causing the forest fire, one might think that the lightning strike is more of a cause than the dry climate, or one might think that the lightning strike completely caused the fire while the dry conditions did not cause it at all. Psychologists and philosophers have long debated...
Preprint
Full-text available
When asking if lightning caused the forest fire, one might think that the lightning is more of a cause than the dry climate (i.e., it is a graded cause) or they might instead think that the lightning strike completely caused the fire while the dry conditions did not cause it at all (i.e., it is a binary cause). Psychologists and philosophers have l...
Article
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When the absence of an event causes some outcome, it is an instance of omissive causation. For instance, not eating lunch may cause you to be hungry. Recent psychological proposals concur that the mind represents causal relations, including omissive causal relations, through mental simulation, but they disagree on the form of that simulation. One t...
Article
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People more frequently select norm‐violating factors, relative to norm‐conforming ones, as the cause of some outcome. Until recently, this abnormal‐selection effect has been studied using retrospective vignette‐based paradigms. We use a novel set of video stimuli to investigate this effect for prospective causal judgments—that is, judgments about t...
Preprint
Full-text available
When the absence of an event causes some outcome, it is an instance of omissive causation. For instance, not eating lunch may cause you to be hungry. Recent psychological proposals concur that the mind represents causal relations, including omissive causal relations, through mental simulation, but they disagree on the form of that simulation. One t...
Article
We report novel findings from experiments on the enumeration of canonical patterns under attentional load. While previous studies have shown that the process of enumerating randomized arrangements can be disrupted by attentional load, the effect of attentional load on canonical patterns has been unexplored. To investigate this case, we adapted a sp...
Article
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If artificial agents are to be created such that they occupy space in our social and cultural milieu, then we should expect them to be targets of folk psychological explanation. That is to say, their behavior ought to be explicable in terms of beliefs, desires, obligations, and especially intentions. Herein, we focus on the concept of intentional a...
Preprint
Full-text available
People more frequently select norm-violating factors, relative to norm- conforming ones, as the cause of some outcome. Until recently, this abnormal-selection effect has been studied using only retrospective vignette-based paradigms. In within-participants designs, we use a novel set of videos to investigate this effect for prospective causal judgm...
Article
Full-text available
The diversity of research on visual attention and multiple-object tracking presents challenges for anyone hoping to develop a unified account. One key challenge is identifying the attentional limitations that give rise to competition among targets during tracking. To address this challenge, we present a computational model of object tracking that r...
Conference Paper
Is it reasonable to draw temporal conclusions from omissive causal assertions? For example, if you learn that not charging your phone caused it to die, is it sensible to infer that your failure to charge your phone occurred before it died? The conclusion seems intuitive, but no theory of causal reasoning explains how reasoners make the inference ot...
Preprint
Full-text available
People often reason about omissions. One line of research shows that people can distinguish between the semantics of omissive causes and omissive enabling conditions: for instance, not flunking out of college enabled you (but didn’t cause you) to graduate. Another line of work shows that people rely on the normative status of omissive events in inf...
Conference Paper
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Human behavior is frequently guided by social and moral norms, and no human community can exist without norms. Robots that enter human societies must therefore behave in norm-conforming ways as well. However, currently there is no solid cognitive or computational model available of how human norms are represented, activated, and learned. We provide...
Article
Some causal relations refer to causation by commission (e.g., "A gunshot causes death"), and others refer to causation by omission (e.g., "Not breathing causes death"). We describe a theory of the representation of omissive causation based on the assumption that people mentally simulate sets of possibilities-mental models-that represent causes, ena...
Article
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For decades AI researchers have built agents that are capable of carrying out tasks that require human-level or human-like intelligence. During this time, questions of how these programs compared in kind to humans have surfaced and led to beneficial interdisciplinary discussions, but conceptual progress has been slower than technological progress....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Omissions figure prominently in causal reasoning from diagnosis to ascriptions of negligence. One philosophical proposal posits that omissions are accompanied by a contrasting alternative that describes a case of orthodox (non-omissive) causation (Schaffer, 2005; Bernstein, 2014). A psychological hypothesis can be drawn from this contrast view of o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Current psychological accounts of causal representation and reasoning do not capture phenomena related to causation by omission (e.g., "The absence of breathing causes death"), with one exception (Wolff, Barbey, & Hausknecht, 2010). We describe a novel theory of omissive causation that posits that people build discrete mental simulations-mental mod...
Article
Research on multiple-object tracking suggests that the visual system can track targets through occlusions by extrapolating future positions from past motion. Evidence for such extrapolation is clearer with a smaller number of targets. Specifically, Luu and Howe (2015) showed that participants were able to track two targets better with predictable m...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present a computational model exploring goal-directed deployment of attention during object tracking. Once selected, objects are tracked in parallel, but serial attention can be directed to an object that is visually crowded and in danger of being lost. An attended object's future position can be extrapolated from its past motion trajectory, all...
Conference Paper
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Recent studies in the perception of numerosity have indicated that subitizing (the rapid and accurate enumeration of small quantities) requires attention. We present a novel computational model of enumeration in which attention unifies distinct processes of numerosity approximation, subitizing, and explicit counting. We demonstrate how this model a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Attention provides a way to direct limited cognitive resources to a subset of available information. In the human case, this capacity enables selective mental processing, thereby shaping what we see, think, and do. Importantly, attention has the uncommon characteristic that people can direct it not only outward at objects, agents, and events in the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Attention is thought to be a part of a larger cluster of mechanisms that serve to orient a cognitive system, to filter contents with respect to their task relevance, and to devote more computation to certain options than to others. All these activities proceed under the plausible assumption that not all information can be or ought to be processed f...
Conference Paper
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The rich literature on multiple object tracking (MOT) conclusively demonstrates that humans are able to visually track a small number of objects. There is considerably less agreement on what perceptual and cognitive processes are involved. While it is clear that MOT is attentionally demanding, various accounts of MOT performance centrally involve p...
Article
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence presented the 2015 Fall Symposium Series, on Thursday through Saturday, November 12-14, at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Virginia. The titles of the six symposia were as follows: AI for Human-Robot Interaction, Cognitive Assistance in Government and Public Sector Applicatio...
Chapter
Conditional reasoning is an important part of sophisticated cognition. Such reasoning is systematically studied in the sub-discipline of conditional logic, where the focus has been on the objects over which conditional reasoning operates (formulae, and the internals thereof). We introduce herein a new approach: one marked by a focus on the mental a...
Chapter
Full-text available
Machines are becoming more capable of substantively interacting with human beings within the confines of our complex social structures. Thought must be given to how their behavior might be regulated with respect to the norms and conventions by which we live. This is certainly true for the military domain, but is no less true for eldercare, health c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With few exceptions, architectural approaches to modeling cognition have historically emphasized what happens in the mind following the transduction of environmental signals into percepts. To our knowledge, none of these architectures implements a sophisticated, general theory of human attention. In this paper we summarize progress to date on a new...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Machines are becoming more capable of substantively interacting with human beings as part of simple dyads and within the confines of our complex social structures. Thought must be given to how their behavior might be regulated with respect to the norms and conventions by which we live. This is certainly true for the military domain [1], but is no l...
Article
Full-text available
Herein we make a plea to machine ethicists for the inclusion of constraints on their theories consistent with empirical data on human moral cognition. As philosophers, we clearly lack widely accepted solutions to issues regarding the existence of free will, the nature of persons and firm conditions on moral agency/patienthood; all of which are indi...
Article
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Herein I sketch out the foundations of a computational theory of pretense, where pretense is broadly defined as pretend-play. In keeping with the sizable literature on the topic, I assume that pretending involves a number of distinct features that include the intentional decoupling of pretense from reality. A scenario is presented that involves all...
Chapter
We deploy a framework for classifying the bases for belief in a category of events marked by being at once weighty, unseen, and temporally removed (wutr, for short). While the primary source of wutr events in Occidental philosophy is the list of miracle claims of credal Christianity, we apply the framework to belief in The Singularity, surely—wheth...
Article
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In a sister paper submitted to this symposium [4], we ex- plored interesting new data generated by experimental philosophers on human attributions of responsibility [10]. This data suggests that human decision-makers deploy multiple concepts of "self" in sup- port of causal attributions. Upon investigating trends in the data, we hypothesize that a...
Article
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This paper begins the exploration of a new research paradigm for machine ethicists: a systematic focus on the mental representations and processes that produce commonsense moral judgments of the variety that all normally developed humans seem to be capable of. We assume that formally capturing the relevant conceptual repertoire along with developin...
Article
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New evidence from cognitive development suggests that action selection is contingent not only on one's own mental states (e.g. beliefs, etc.), but may also be affected by one's representation of the beliefs of others (Kovacs et al. 2010). Herein, I propose a preliminary computational model accounting for the general pattern of results in the recent...
Article
Full-text available
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence was pleased to present the 2008 Fall Symposium Series, held Friday through Sunday, November 7-9, at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Virginia. The titles of the seven symposia were (1) Adaptive Agents in Cultural Contexts, (2) AI in Eldercare: New Solutions to Old Problems, (3...
Article
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A particularly stinging criticism of the entire artificial intelligence enterprise has been its' ability to produce systems that are far more capable than a typical human on domain-specific tasks but its' striking inability to produce systems that perform some of the simplest tasks that toddlers excel at. While various proposals have been made rega...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Reasoning about intentional action is a pervasive and critical skill in the human cognitive repertoire. In- tentions have taken center-stage in discussions of how humans parse perceptual input, understand language, make moral judgments, and predict the behavior of conspecifics. In the quest to engineer machine intelli- gence, intentions have largel...
Conference Paper
We describe a cognitive architecture for creating more robust intelligent systems by executing hybrids of algorithms based on different computational formalisms. The architecture is motivated by the belief that (1) most existing computational methods often exhibit some of the characteristics desired of intelligent systems at the cost of other desir...
Article
Although we agree that ritualized behavior is a mystery that calls out for an explanation, we do not think that the proposed domain-specific two-component system offers an empirically well-justified and theoretically parsimonious description of the phenomena. Instead, we believe that the deployment of domain-general mechanisms based on choice of ac...
Article
Full-text available
An attempt is made to provide a new psychological mechanism, the mental possible worlds mechanism (MPWM), for analysing complex reasoning tasks such as the logical reasoning tasks in the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). MPWM captures the interaction between syntactic and semantic processes in reasoning, and so it also technically supports the new...
Article
Full-text available
People's ability to predict and explain the beliefs, desires and actions of others, often called their Theory of Mind(ToM) is an central component of cognition. There is ample experimental evidence suggesting a major developmental shift in children's ToM somewhere between the ages of three and five (Wellman, Cross & Watson 2001). These results are...
Article
Herein, we explore the psychology of deontic reasoning through the presentation of a heterogeneous natural logic combining inference schemas with a preference-based model-theoretic semantics such as those typically found in various formalisms for nonmonotonic reasoning. We conjecture that the heterogeneous approach is a generalization of various ot...
Article
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We suggest that mechanized multi-agent deontic logics might be appropriate vehicles for engineering trustworthy robots. Mechanically checked proofs in such logics can serve to es-tablish the permissibility (or obligatoriness) of agent actions, and such proofs, when translated into English, can also ex-plain the rationale behind those actions. We us...
Article
Full-text available
Herein, we explore the psychology of deontic reason-ing through the presentation of a heterogeneous natu-ral logic combining inference schemas with a preference-based model-theoretic semantics such as those typically found in various formalisms for nonmonotonic reason-ing. We conjecture that the heterogeneous approach is a generalization of various...
Article
Computational models that give us insight into the behavior of individuals and the organizations to which they belong will be invaluable assets in our nation's war against terrorists, and state sponsorship of terror organizations. Reasoning and decision-making are essential ingredients in the formula for human cognition, yet the two have almost exc...
Article
Conflict between groups of armed men is as old as recorded history. Effective reasoning and decision-making are fundamental to the successful execution of military operations. These activities are of paramount importance, given the high-stakes nature of conflict; most especially in this modern era of asymmetric threats, and unconventionally armed r...
Article
Effects-based operations (EBO) has become an increasingly important doctrinal con-cept used in the prosecution of war, most especially against terrorist organizations and the rogue states which support them. As a philosophy, EBO reaches beyond the realm of the propagation of simple physical effects. EBO encompasses the full spectrum of military act...
Article
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There is a disturbing paradox at the heart of contemporary American education: As this education turns more 'electronic,' we are moving away from the one kind of learning that we know to be most effective, namely, one-on-one instruction. As the need for good teachers at the university level continues to grow, we see this paradox intensifying. A spe...
Article
The study of agent-based real-time pedagogy for proof construction is discussed. The aim of agent-driven tutoring system is to extend the agents so that they can get the assistance of logicians, mathematicians and computer scientists in their research and development. The proof-construction environments in the educational realm presents lucid proof...
Article
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The Turing Test (TT) is claimed by many to be a way to test for the presence, in computers, of such "deep" phenomena as thought and consciousness. Unfortunately, attempts to build computational systems able to pass TT (or at least restricted versions of this test) have devolved into shallow symbol manipulation designed to, by hook or by crook, tric...
Article
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After briefly explaining our ultimate educational goal with respect to reasoning (to "superteach" reasoning), and our theoretical foundation, we give an overview of some of our attempts to build and harness intelligent agents in order to reach this goal. We end with coverage of the Slate system, which inherits its power from lessons learned in conn...
Article
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To develop realistic computational cognitive models of human decision making, it is essential to incorporate various traditionally non-cognitive but critically important soft factors into the model development, such as cultural biases, intuition, emotion, social norms, etc. In this paper we attempt to explore human cognitive-affective interactions...
Article
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We present a sketch of a computational account of the relationship between certain aspects of introspection with aspects of third-person ascription of mental states (mindreading). The theory we propose is developed in large part as a reaction to what we perceive to be a lack of precision in the literature and a lack of experimental techniques to pr...
Article
Full-text available
People's ability to predict and explain the beliefs and actions of other people, often called their theory of mind (ToM), is a central component of human cogni- tion. Formal and computational models of ToM can significantly clarify and illuminate many issues in the literature. However, such models require mechanisms most modeling frameworks do not...

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Build and validate the most complete model of human causal reasoning on offer. The project is predicated on extending Johnson-Laird's theory of mental models.
Project
The goal of this project was to explore some of the formal and computational prerequisites for modeling various developmental phenomena associated with mental state ascription (i.e. "mindreading")