c [dot] a [dot] zednik [at] tue [dot] nl
Assistant Professor for Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence at Eindhoven University of Technology
c [dot] a [dot] zednik [at] tue [dot] nl
Philosophy of AI
Eindhoven University of Technology
NEWS: The Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences at TU/e, through the BOOST! scheme for innovation in education and the 4TU Centre for Engineering Education, is hiring a Postdoctoral Researcher to work with me and several colleagues on the use of generative AI in higher education, with an emphasis on writing skills. See the official job announcement for position details and application instructions (deadline December 24th, 2023).
My academic research centers on the explanation of natural and artificial cognitive systems. In my published work, I investigate methodological principles of cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and investigate methods, norms, and applications for explainable artificial intelligence. I am the director of the Eindhoven Center for Philosophy of AI, a member of the popAI (ERC) and ROBUST (ECAI) research consortia, and an Associate Editor for the not-for-profit open-access journal Philosophy and the Mind Sciences.
My teaching in Eindhoven generally covers philosophical and ethical issues in AI, but also concerns the psychology of judgment and decision-making. More generally, my teaching addresses a wide range of topics across philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, cognitive science, and logic. I am also engaged in innovation projects to integrate the use of generative AI in higher education.
Beyond the university, I am involved in national and internationalpr standardization efforts to promote trustworthy artificial intelligence, my primary area of expertise being explainability in machine learning. Nationally, this involves committee work at the German DIN and Dutch NEN. Internationally, I participate in the ISO/IEC joint technical committee SC42 - Artificial Intelligence.
Before arriving in Eindhoven I was based at the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Cognition program at the University of Magdeburg, and prior to that, at the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabrück. I received my PhD from the Indiana University Cognitive Science program, after receiving a Master's degree in philosophy of mind from the University of Warwick and a Bachelor's degree in computer science and philosophy from Cornell University.
☞ See my Google Scholar profile for citation metrics.
Zednik, C. & Boelsen, H. (2022)
Scientific Exploration and Explainable Artificial Intelligence.
Minds and Machines 32: 219-239.
Zednik, C. & Boelsen, H. (2020)
The Exploratory Role of Explainable Artificial Intelligence.
Preprint volume for Philosophy Science Association 27th Biennial Meeting. Chicago, IL: Philosophy of Science Association.
Zednik, C. & Jäkel, F. (2018)
Descending Marr's Levels: Standard Observers are no Panacea.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41, e249: 43-44 (commentary on target article by D. Rahnev & R.N. Denison).
Abstract Article Preprint
Zednik, C. (2018)
Will machine learning yield machine intelligence?
Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence III (pp. 225-227). Edited by V. Müller. Berlin: SAPERE Springer.
Abstract Proceedings Preprint
Zednik, C. (2017)
Mechanisms in Cognitive Science.
The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy (pp. 389-400). Edited by S. Glennan & P. Illari. London: Routledge.
Abstract Chapter Preprint
Fink, S.B. & Zednik, C. (2017)
Meeting in the Dark Room: Bayesian Rational Analysis and Hierarchical Predictive Coding.
Philosophy and Predictive Processing. Edited by T. Metzinger & W. Wiese. Frankfurt am Main: MIND Group.
Zednik, C. (2015)
Heuristics, Descriptions, and the Scope of Mechanistic Explanation.
Explanation in Biology: An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences (pp. 295-318). Edited by C. Malaterre & P-A. Braillard. Dordrecht: Springer.
Abstract Chapter Preprint
Zednik, C. (2014)
Are Systems Neuroscience Explanations Mechanistic?
Preprint volume for Philosophy Science Association 24th Biennial Meeting. Chicago, IL: Philosophy of Science Association.
Landy, D., Allen, C. & Zednik, C. (2014)
A perceptual account of symbolic reasoning.
Frontiers in Psychology 5(275): doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00275.
Zednik, C. & Jäkel, F. (2014)
How does Bayesian reverse-engineering work?
Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 666-671). Edited by P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
Spivey, M., Richardson, D. & Zednik, C. (2010)
Language is spatial, not special: Using space for language and memory.
Spatial Foundations of Cognition and Language (pp. 16-40). Edited by L. Smith, K. Mix, & M. Gasser. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Zednik, C. (2009)
The Varieties of Dynamicism.
Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2298-2303). Edited by N.A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
Zednik, C. (2008)
Dynamical Models & Mechanistic Explanations.
Proceedings of the 30th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1454-1459). Edited by B.C. Love, K. McRae, & V.M. Sloutsky. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
|11.2023||Stuttgart||Explanation, Justification, and Responsibility||Keynote||Science and Art of Simulation: Reliability or Trustworthiness|
|10.2023||Osnabrück||Why Explainable AI Needs Cognitive Models||Keynote||Computational Cognition Conference|
|10.2023||Umea||Explanation, Justification, and Responsibility||Colloquium||FrAIday at the Center for Transdisciplinary AI|
|09.2023||Belgrade||Justification and Explainable AI (with Philippe Verreault-Julien)||Conference||Biannual Conference of the European Society for Philosophy of Science|
|03.2023||Darmstadt||Disentangling XAI Concepts: Explanation, Interpretation, and Justification||Workshop||WhiteBox Symposium on Explainability|
|12.2022||Köln||Social Integration as Intelligence Attribution||Workshop||GeSiMEx Work-in-Progress Workshop|
|11.2022||Dresden||Moral Responsibility and Explainable AI||Workshop||Workshop des Schauffler Kollegs|
|10.2022||Berlin||Toward a Cognitive Science of AI: Methods and Norms||Workshop||GeSiMEx Final Symposium|
|09.2022||Berlin||Explainable AI: Norms, Standards, and Theories||Workshop||Workshop der Jungen Akademie|
|07.2022||Hannover||Moral Responsibility and Explainable AI||Workshop||Leibniz Workshop on Digital Ethics|
|03.2022||Osnabrück||Toward a Cognitive Science of AI||Conference||Cognitive Science Alumni Conference|
|03.2022||Manchester||Moral Responsibility and Explainable AI||Colloquium||Neurotech Consortium|
|11.2021||Baltimore||The Exploratory Role of Explainable AI (with Hannes Boelsen)||Conference||Philosophy of Science Association 24th Biennial Meeting|
|11.2021||Tübingen||Explainable AI as a Tool for Scientific Exploration||Workshop||Philosophy of Science Meets Machine Learning|
|10.2021||Bern||How should Explainable AI explain?||Colloquium||Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine|
|10.2021||Southampton||How can Explainable AI help Scientific Explanation||Colloquium||Research Network: Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Intelligence for Automated Investigations for Scientific Discovery|
|07.2021||Hamburg||Moral Responsibility and Explainable AI (with Christoph Widdau)||Conference||International Association for Computing and Philosophy 2021|
|06.2021||München||Explainable AI and the Problems of Philosophy||Colloquium||Cognition, Values & Behaviour Research Group Meeting|
|04.2021||Lugano||Explainable AI as a Tool for Scientific Exploration||Colloquium||Philosophy and AI|
|04.2021||London||Overcoming Opacity in Machine Learning (with Hannes Boelsen)||Conference||Annual Convention of the Society for Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behavior|
|12.2020||Kassel||25 years after Mind as Motion: What is left of the dynamical revolution? (Online)||Colloquium||Situated Cognition Research Seminar|
|12.2020||Aachen||Explainable AI and the Problems of Philosophy (Online)||Colloquium||Theory of Science and Technology|
|11.2020||Bochum||Moralische Verantwortung und erklärbare künstliche Intelligenz (Online)||Workshop||CAIS NRW: Philosophische Digitalisierungsforschung|
|06.2020||Magdeburg||Über den Begriff der Verantwortung im digitalen Zeitalter (Online, mit Christoph Widdau)||Colloquium||Ringvorlesung: Autonomie im Digitalen Zeitalter|
|05.2020||Osnabrück||Toward a Cognitive Science of AI (Online)||Colloquium||Colloquium of the Institute of Cognitive Science|
|01.2020||Warsaw||25 years after Mind as Motion: What is left of the dynamical revolution?||Workshop||Dynamical Models in Neurophenomenology|
|12.2019||Darmstadt||Toward a Cognitive Science of AI: Aims, Norms and Methods||Colloquium||Cognitive Science Colloquium|
|11.2019||Leiden||Network Mechanisms in the Brain: Organization and Correlation||Workshop||What is Translation? Exploring the Missing Link Between Neuroscience and Psychiatry|
|10.2019||Hannover||The Black Box Problem in Artificial Intelligence: Philosophical Reflections on Explainable AI||Colloquium||Kolloquium Philosophie und Wissenschaftsreflexion|
|09.2019||Geneve||Solving the Black Box Problem: From Machine Learning to Marr (Poster)||Conference||7th Biennial Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association|
|08.2019||Köln||Explanation in Cognitive Science: Computation, Algorithm, and Mechanism||Workshop||Computational approaches in language and music cognition research|
|02.2019||Köln||The Black Box Problem and the Norms of Explainable AI||Conference||3. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Wissenschaftsphilosophie, Symposium: Deep Learning and the Philosophy of AI|
|12.2018||Köln||Marr's Levels and Deep Neural Networks||Workshop||Causation and Computation in Neuroscience|
|11.2018||Stuttgart||Opacity, Marr, and the Norms of Explainable AI||Workshop||Science and Art of Simulation: Epistemic opacity in computer simulation and machine learning|
|10.2018||Magdeburg||Vom maschinellen Lernen zur maschinellen Intelligenz||Colloquium||Themenabend der evangelischen Studierendengemeinschaft|
|10.2018||Praha||The Black Box Problem and the Norms of Explainable AI||Workshop||Machine Learning and Explanation in Cognitive Science|
|09.2018||Köln||Will machine learning produce machine intelligence?||Conference||10. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie|
|06.2018||Warszawa||From Machine Learning to Machine Intelligence||Conference||International Association for Computing and Philosophy 2018|
|06.2018||Magdeburg||Künstliche Intelligenz als Evolutionsstufe: Übermenschlich oder doch menschenähnlich?||Colloquium||Ringvorlesung "Von Hominiden zu Humanoiden"|
|04.2018||Edinburgh||From Machine Learning to Machine Intelligence||Colloquium||Mind Network Meeting|
|11.2017||Leeds||From Machine Learning to Machine Intelligence (Poster)||Conference||Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence 2017|
|10.2017||Witten||Mechanistic Explanation in Network Neuroscience: A Reply to Objections||Workshop||Models of Mechanisms in Computational Neuroscience|
|06.2017||Magdeburg||Explanation in cognitive science: Marr and mechanisms||Colloquium||Magdeburg-Augustana Neurophilosophy Summer School|
|04.2017||Dubrovnik||Mechanistic Explanation in Systems Neuroscience: A Reply to Objections||Conference||Annual Philosophy of Science Conference|
|06.2016||Warszawa||Explanation in cognitive science: Marr and mechanisms||Workshop||Mechanistic Integration and Unification in Cognitive Science|
|03.2016||Düsseldorf||Viewing Marr as a Mechanist||Conference||2. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Wissenschaftsphilosophie|
|01.2016||Witten||Models and Mechanisms in Systems Neuroscience||Colloquium||Philosophy of Science Colloquium|
|10.2015||Magdeburg||Systems Neuroscience: Models and Mechanisms||Colloquium||Philosophisches Institutskolloquium|
|11.2014||Chicago||Are explanations in systems neuroscience mechanistic?||Conference||Philosophy of Science Association 24th Biennial Meeting|
|10.2014||Berlin||Bayesian reverse-engineering considered as a research strategy in cognitive science||Colloquium||Current Issues Seminar, Berlin School of Mind and Brain|
|09.2014||Köln||Systems, networks, and mechanistic explanations in neuroscience||Workshop||Causality and Complexity in the Sciences|
|07.2014||Quebec||How does Bayesian reverse-engineering work?||Conference||36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society|
|05.2014||Leiden||Panel discussion: The computational and physical realizability of probabilistic minds and brains||Workshop||Perspectives on Human Probabilistic Inference|
|05.2014||Leiden||How does Bayesian reverse-engineering work?||Workshop||Perspectives on Human Probabilistic Inference|
|12.2013||Bochum||Mechanistic explanation in cognitive science: Top-down and bottom-up||Colloquium||Philosophy meets Cognitive Science|
|08.2013||Helsinki||Are explanations in network neuroscience mechanistic?||Conference||4th Meeting of the European Philosophy of Science Association.|
|08.2013||Berlin||Bayesian modeling and heuristic strategies for model-development||Conference||35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Symposium: Constraints on Bayesian Explanation|
|07.2013||Cortina d'Ampezzo||The role of Bayesian rational analysis in cognitive scientific explanation||Conference||12th Annual Summer Interdisciplinary Conference|
|05.2013||Magdeburg||Mathematics and Mechanistic Explanations of Mind||Colloquium||Philosophisches Institutskolloquium|
|03.2013||Hannover||Heuristics of mechanism-discovery and the limits of mechanistic explanation||Conference||1. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Wissenschaftsphilosophi|
|03.2013||Hannover||Mechanistic explanation and cognitive science||Conference||Netzwerktagung der Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung|
|12.2012||Tilburg||The heuristic and justificatory role of Bayesian task-analysis in mechanistic explanation||Workshop||Models & Mechanisms|
|09.2012||Konstanz||From Extended Mechanisms to Extended Minds||Conference||8. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie|
|08.2012||London||Marr's Levels and Mechanistic Explanation: Why ask Why?||Conference||20th Annual Conference of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology|
|06.2012||Osnabrück||Dynamical Systems Theory as a Conceptual Framework for Affective Science||Workshop||Giovanna Colombetti's "The Feeling Body: Affective Science meets the Enactive Mind"|
|10.2011||Osnabrück||Cognitive Science and the Changing Face of Mechanistic Explanation||Colloquium||Kolloquium des Instituts für Kognitionswissenschaft|
|07.2011||Montreal||Cognitive Mechanisms: Soft-assembled, complex, and large||Conference||37th Annual Meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology|
|04.2011||Bloomington||The Changing Face of Mechanistic Explanation (Poster)||Colloquium||2011 IGERT Research Showcase|
|01.2011||Wien||Complex Systems & Mechanistic Explanation||Colloquium||Jour fixe: Simulation komplexer Systeme|
|08.2010||Bochum||Mental Mechanisms & the Extended Mind||Conference||18th Annual Conference of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology|
|04.2010||Bloomington||Situated, Embodied, Dynamical Mechanisms (Poster)||Colloquium||2010 IGERT Research Showcase|
|12.2009||Bloomington||The Nature of Dynamical Explanation||Colloquium||Indiana University Cognitive Lunch Series|
|07.2009||Amsterdam||The Varieties of Dynamicism||Conference||31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society|
|06.2009||Bloomington||The Varieties of Dynamicism||Conference||35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Philosophy and psychology|
|07.2008||Washington, DC||Dynamical Models & Mechanistic Explanations (Poster)||Conference||30th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society|
|07.2008||Bloomington||Computation & Dynamics: Alternative frameworks for describing mental mechanisms?||Conference||North American Conference on Computing and Philosophy|
|06.2008||Philadelphia||Dynamical Models & Mechanistic Explanations||Conference||34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology|
|Philosophy & Ethics of AI||Eindhoven (Q2)||Lecture|
|Descriptive Decision Theory||Eindhoven (Q2)||Lecture|
|Data Science Ethics||Eindhoven (Q4)||Lecture|
|Decisions Under Risk & Uncertainty Project Course||Eindhoven (Q3)||Tutorial|
Philosophy and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
|Can Machines Think?*||Magdeburg 2015||B Seminar
|Data Science Ethics||Eindhoven 2021, 2022||Lecture"|
|Ethics of AI*||Magdeburg 2019||B Seminar"|
|Philosophy and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence||Eindhoven 2021, 2022||Lecture|
|Philosophy of AI||Magdeburg 2017||B Seminar|
|Philosophy of AI (Advanced)*||Magdeburg 2018||M Seminar|
Philosophy of Mind
|Computation and the Brain*||Magdeburg 2016||B Seminar|
|Embodied Cognition*||Magdeburg 2016, 2019||B Seminar|
|Introduction to Philosophy of Mind||Osnabrück 2012||B Seminar|
|Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science||Indiana 2008||Tutorial|
|Ryle: The Concept of Mind||Osnabrück 2015||M Seminar|
|Sellars: Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind*||Magdeburg 2018||B Seminar|
Philosophy of Science
|Cognition as a Natural Kind||Magdeburg 2020||B Seminar|
|Does Psychology Reduce to Neuroscience?||Magdeburg 2016||B Seminar|
|Explaining Perceptual Choice||Magdeburg 2017||M Seminar"|
|Explanation in Cognitive Science||Osnabrück 2014||B Seminar"|
|Philosophy and Ethics of Science||Magdeburg 2018||Lecture|
|Theory and Methodology of Cognitive Neuroscience*||Magdeburg 2016||M Seminar"|
History of Philosophy
|British Empiricism*||Magdeburg 2016||B Seminar|
|Descartes: Meditations*||Magdeburg 2015||B Seminar|
|Introduction to Theoretical Philosophy*||Magdeburg 2019||Lecture|
|Wittgenstein: Philosphical Investigations*||Magdeburg 2017||B Seminar|
|Wittgenstein: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus*||Magdeburg 2019||B Seminar|
|Argumentation Theory*||Magdeburg 2017||B Seminar|
|Decisions Under Risk & Uncertainty Project Course||Eindhoven 2021, 2022, 2023||Tutorial|
|Descriptive Decision Theory||Eindhoven 2020, 2021, 2022||Lecture|
|Introduction to Formal Logic||Osnabrück 2014||Lecture|
|Thinking and Reasoning||Indiana 2007||Tutorial|
*in German "co-taught
February 2022, Köln
The Nature of Physical Computation
3rd Workshop (10 participants) of the GeSiMEx Project.
April 2021, London
Overcoming Opacity in Machine Learning
Symposium (10 speakers) at the Annual Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behavior.
March 2020, Magdeburg
Machine Learning and Mechanistic Models in Neuroscience
2nd Workshop (6 participants) of the GeSiMEx Project.
March 2019, Köln
Deep Learning and the Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
GAP-GWP Symposium (4 speakers) at the Congress of the German Philosophy of Science Association.
October 2017, Witten
Models of Mechanisms in Computational Neuroscience
Kick-off Workshop (15 participants) for the DFG-Funded German-Polish International Collaboration Project, Models of Mechanisms in Computational Neuroscience.
co-Principal Investigator, August 2023 - September 2025
Generative AI for Academic Writing in Engineering Education
BOOST! & 4TUCEE (€175,000)
Funds one postdoctoral researcher to help develop and evaluate assessment methods that incorporate generative AI in engineering education, with a focus on academic writing.
Consortium Member, March 2023 -
NWO Long Term Program
A 54-partner consortium spanning academia, industry, and civil society aims to identify and develop talent with the skills to develop robust, reliable, transparent, and trustworthy AI.
☞ Project website
Consortium Member, May 2022 - September 2023
popAI - A European Positive Sum Approach towards AI tools in support of Law Enforcement and safeguarding privacy and fundamental rights
ERC Horizon 2020 Framework Program
This project aims to evaluate and guide the use of AI in European policing. A multinational consortium investigates current technological state of the art and public perception to issue policy recommendations and ethical guidance.
☞ Project website
Principal Investigator, August 2021 - July 2025
Cognitive Models as Surrogate Models for Explainable AI
EAISI Startup Grant (€250,000)
This project will fund one PhD student in Eindhoven, to investigate the utility of cognitive modeling methods for the purposes of explaining the behavior of "black box" AI systems such as deep neural networks.
☞ Project website
Consortium member, May 2018 - December 2022
Artificial Intelligence - Quality Requirements and Life Cycle Management for AI Modules
DIN SPEC (PAS) 92001
This consortium of industry, government, and university representatives works under the guidance of the German Standardization Agency (DIN) to specify norms and practices for the development of artificial intelligence. My own contribution focuses on questions of the explainability of machine learning technologies.
☞ Project website.
☞ Technical Specification (PDF)
Research Strategy Consultant, January 2020 - December 2020
Comprehensability in Machine Learning
neurocat was developing a product to bring explainable AI tools to market. I was helping them do that.
☞ neurocat website
Principal Investigator (with Jens Harbecke, Witten/Herdecke Universität), April 2019 - March 2022
Model-Development in Neuroscience: Simplicity and Generalizability in Mechanistic Explanations
DFG Sachbeihilfe (€300,000)
The aim of this project is to investigate the ways in which criteria of simplicity and generalizability are applied in the development of mechanistic explanations in neuroscience. It funds one PhD position in Magdeburg, as well as a student assistant and a replacement of Jens Harbecke's position in Witten.
☞ Project website
Ethics Advisor, November 2018 - March 2021
Ultra Low-Power Event-Based Camera (ULPEC)
ERC Horizons 2020 Action on Smart System Integration
The aim of this project is to implement spiking neural networks on neuromorphic hardware for the purposes of building an event-based camera for self-driving cars. My role is to oversee the ethical conduct of scientific research, as well as to advise on the technology's possible social impact with respect to e.g. data privacy and non-civilian use.
☞ Project website
Principal Investigator, September 2017 - December 2018
Models of Mechanisms in Computational Neuroscience
DFG Internationale Kooperationsanbahnung (€18,000)
The aim of this project is to foster collaboration and initiate joint projects between researchers in Magdeburg, Witten, and Warsaw who work on the norms and practices of mechanistic explanation in computational neuroscience. It funds a series of workshops and research visits