John Vervaeke – Why Don't We Have AI Yet? (Video + Paper)


In this mind-opening talk entitled, “The bioeconomics of relevance realization and general intelligence” award-winning lecturer John Veraeke aims to explain why we do not have artificial intelligence (AI) yet by arguing for a new framework for understanding how people think, feel and interact with the world. Every cognitive scientist and artificial intelligence researcher should see this video.


Vervaeke, Lillicrap, and Richards (2012) have argued that the central problem facing cognitive science is explaining how cognitive agents selectively attend to relevant information while flexibly ignoring a vast amount of irrelevant information. They further argued that the processes of relevance realization are ultimately economic in nature. Relevance realization runs off the bioeconomic properties of information processing. Vervaeke and Ferraro (forthcoming) argued that relevance realization is the core process of general intelligence and that this is being implemented in the self-organized firing and wiring of the brain. In short, it is internal economics that makes us externally smart.

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(Source: YouTube | UofTCASA)


Relevance Realization and The Emerging Framework in Cognitive Science

By John Vervaeke 1,2, Timothy P. Lillicrap 3, Blake A. Richards 4

1 Cognitive Science Program, University College, University of Toronto
2Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
3 Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen’s University
4 Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford


We argue that an explanation of relevance realization is a pervasive problem within cognitive science, and that it is becoming the criterion of the cognitive in terms of which a new framework for doing cognitive science is emerging. We articulate that framework and then make use of it to provide the beginnings of a theory of relevance realization that incorporates many existing insights implicit within the contributing disciplines of cognitive science. We also introduce some theoretical and potentially technical innovations motivated by the articulation of those insights. Finally, we show how the explication of the framework and development of the theory help to clear up some important incompleteness and confusions within both Montague’s work and Sperber and Wilson’s theory of relevance.



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