Steven J. Jones, PhD

Hey, I’m Steven J. Jones and I’m a graduate of John Laird’s Soar Group at the University of Michigan. Currently, I am employed at the Center for Integrated Cognition. I enjoy understanding how people think, to the extent that I can.

Most of my work amounts to adding subsymbolic mechanisms to the Soar cognitive architecture. At a high level, what I care about is human-like or human-level intelligence, but I buy into the idea that there are aspects of our meatware that we do not need to replicate for AI.

I’ve implemented spreading activation, base-level inhibition, and a few other bits in Soar. I recently studied mechanisms for supporting event cognition functionality in Soar, especially in episodic memory. My general underlying focus is on implementing subsymbolic mechanisms which provide new functionality to agents by making different types of knowledge more readily available.


Modeling the Remote Associates Test as Retrievals from Semantic Memory

An associative learning account for retrieval-induced forgetting

It’s just theory, but I like this one:

Anticipatory Thinking in Cognitive Architectures with Event Cognition Mechanisms

An Architecture Approach to Modeling the Remote Associates Test

Architectural Mechanisms for Mitigating Uncertainty during Long-Term Declarative Knowledge Access

Efficient computation of spreading activation using lazy evaluation

And, once upon a time, I thought I was going to be a physicist:

Switching time distributions and scaling behavior in a bistable tunnel diode circuit with adjustable noise intensity -If you like the words “limit cycle annihilation” or “bifurcation types”, have I got a circuit for you.

Noise-induced nucleation in a bistable tunnel diode circuit - Tunnel diode circuits are cool.

Phase diffusion in graphene-based Josephson junctions - Honestly, I only did sample creation and prep for this one.

Other Qualifications

I was twice a graduate student instructor for Discrete Math at UofM. I actually received an award for it, but more importantly, I received good evaluations from the students. Here’s my favorite:

I originally didn’t plan on attending discussion but I reluctantly went to retrieve my first midterm. Turns out, Steven Jones is hilarious and really knows his stuff, so I kept coming back.

I think I have presented at each Soar workshop since 2014. This is probably my favorite talk, summarizing my approach to implementing spreading activation in Soar.

I was an invited speaker at the Merit Member Conference along with Bryan Stearns, another member of the Soar lab. He’s cool.

Hot sauce recommendations (I promise this was not sponsored.)

Aura Solanales (The Brinery)

Bone Suckin’ Sauce (Hiccuppin’ Hot Habenero Sauce)

El Yucateco (green) Chile Habenero sauce

Tortugas’ Lie Habenero Peppa Sauce

Blackbeard’s Ghost (Oak City Hot Sauce Co.)

Salsitas Mendoza Hell Fire Hot Sauce