Research

“I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense.” — Henry Ford

In a few sentences

My research is in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science and falls under the umbrella of adaptive behaviour and learning. In my story, research and application share the same house, even the same room. I want to know how scientific knowledge can help us solve problems, make life simpler and create better experiences. So far my work in this area has included adaptation in games, optimising user experience, neural networks and neural modelling, creativity, human-computer collaboration.

But I also want to push progress further. This is why I also work on some of the unanswered questions like how do we adapt to the environment, how our brains do language with nothing but neurons — cells in salty water, how we form representations of the environment we’re exploring and how these representations drive us to explore the world further The small steps that we take in this area inform the applied science. In my research, I’ve used various tools from Unity 3D to prototype games to Python and C++ and brain modelling software.

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Publications

Knight, Y., Martinez H. P., Yannakakis, G. N. 2013 “Space Maze: Experience-Driven Game Camera Control”, Proceedings of the 8th FDG Conference, Chania, Crete

Knight, Y. and Spranger, M. 2014 “Modelling the Role of Motion Verbs in the Evolution of Russian Aspect”, in How grammaticalization processes create grammar: From historical corpus data to agent-based models, workshop at Evolang 10 Conference, Vienna, Austria

Knight, Y., Spranger, M. and Beuls, K. 2015 “Russian Verbs of Motion and their Aspectual Behaviour in Fluid Construction Grammar”, Constructions and Frames journal (in press)

Knight, Y., Spranger, M., Steels, L. 2015 A vector representation of Fluid Construction Grammar using Holographic Reduced Representations (accepted, EuroAsianPacific Cognitive Science Conference)

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Talks and Lectures

“Russian Verbs of Motion and their Aspectual Behaviour in Fluid Construction Grammar”. Talk delivered at FCG workshop, August 2014, Orval, Belgium.
“Symbol representation in the brain: Past and current hypotheses”. Talk given at the Student Conference in Complex Systems 2014, Brighton, UK.
“Towards neural Fluid Construction Grammar”. Talk given at an FCG workshop, VUB (Free University Brussels), December 2014
“A case study of FCG vector representation” Talk at The 3rd International workshop on algorithms for procesing meaning. ESSENCE Marie Curie ITN, Barcelona, May 2015

Teaching assistant of Artificial Intelligence Programming Paradigms (MSc Computer Science elective course)
2014-2015, VUB (Free University Brussels)

Reviewer for The 3rd International workshop on algorithms for procesing meaning. ESSENCE Marie Curie ITN, 2015.