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Distinguished Lecture Series: Oliver Brock

Distinguished Lecture Series: Oliver Brock

We are pleased to announce our upcoming Distinguished Lecture Series talk by Oliver Brock (TU Berlin)! The talk will take place in person on February 7th, in room UN32.101. Professor Brock will also be available for meetings on February 8th. If you are interested in scheduling a meeting, please email .

Oliver Brock is the Alexander-von-Humboldt Professor of Robotics in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Technische Universität Berlin, a German “University of Excellence”. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2000 and held postdoctoral positions at Rice University and Stanford University. He was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst before moving back to Berlin in 2009. The research of Brock’s lab, the Robotics and Biology Laboratory, focuses on embodied intelligence, mobile manipulation, interactive perception, grasping, manipulation, soft material robotics, interactive machine learning, motion generation, and the application of algorithms and concepts from robotics to computational problems in structural molecular biology. Oliver Brock directs the Research Center of Excellence “Science of Intelligence”. He is an IEEE Fellow and was president of the Robotics: Science and Systems Foundation from 2012 until 2019.

About the Interplay of Embodiment and Learning in Intelligent Systems

Biological intelligent systems manifest their intelligence in physical interactions with other agents and with their environment. Such interactions require embodiment. Intelligence, both artificial and biological, also requires some kind of learning. But what is the relationship between the two? How should the two interact? Do they even have to? What could be a common ground on which this relationship can be explored, negotiated, and ultimately designed? In this presentation, I will attempt to provide my personal answers to these questions. I will argue that one of the reasons (deep) machine learning has not yet been able to replicate its smashing successes in the context of robotics lies in the widespread disregard for the important capabilities provided by the body. Instead of considering embodiment, machine learning seems to be resorting to massive use of physical simulations. This seems to be unnecessarily complicated without being convincingly effective.

Date: February 7, 2023
Time: 17:30
Place: Universitätstraße 32.101, Campus Vaihingen of the University of Stuttgart.

Looking forward to seeing you all there! No registration necessary.