The Origins of Common Sense in Humans and Machines

AbstractPeople impose structure on raw percepts, filling the world with objects, agents, events, and properties. This reasoning develops early: by their first birthday, infants can determine features of objects such as number and motion (Spelke, 1990; Wynn, 1992), construe agents’ actions as goal-directed (Woodward, 1998; Gergely & Csibra, 2003), and distinguish helpers from hinderers (Hamlin, Wynn, & Bloom, 2007). Agents, objects, events, properties – these are the building blocks of meaning and common sense that allow even young children to rapidly understand and interact with novel scenes.

Return to previous page