The Philosophy of Deep Learning

New York University | March 24-26, 2023


[About · Speakers · Program · Livestream · Posters · Registration ]

A two-day conference (March 25-26) plus pre-conference debate (March 24) on the philosophy of deep learning, organized by Ned Block (New York University), David Chalmers (New York University) and Raphaël Millière (Columbia University), and jointly sponsored by the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience program at Columbia University and the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at New York University.


The conference will explore current issues in AI research from a philosophical perspective, with particular attention to recent work on deep artificial neural networks. The goal is to bring together philosophers and scientists who are thinking about these systems in order to gain a better understanding of their capacities, their limitations, and their relationship to human cognition.

The conference will focus especially on topics in the philosophy of cognitive science (rather than on topics in AI ethics and safety). It will explore questions such as:

A pre-conference debate on Friday, March 24th will tackle the question “Do large language models need sensory grounding for meaning and understanding ?”.



The debate and conference will be livestreamed (no registration required).

The conference and debate are free, but in-person attendance requires registration. Registration does not guarantee a seat. Seating is first-come/first-served.

REMINDER: ALL VISITORS MUST ADHERE TO NYU’S COVID VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS. NYU requires that you be able to show proof of covid vaccination including one booster if asked. You must register at least 24 hours in advance so that your name/email address can be sponsored in our system. You will need to show proof of government ID to our security guard.


Pre-Conference Debate


Panel on Deep Learning and Cognitive Science


Poster presentations


The full program booklet, including abstracts, can be downloaded here.

Friday, March 24th (Cantor Film Center, Room 200)

Saturday, March 25th (19 West 4th Street, Room 101)

Sunday, March 26th (19 West 4th Street, Room 101)


The conference will be livestreamed and recorded via Zoom on Please note that this is not a hybrid conference, and viewers on the livestream will not be able to ask questions or participate remotely.