Dr James Crowder

Colorado Engineering Exploring Robot Self Awareness

Dr. James Crowder, resident artificial intelligence (AI) expert and Colorado Engineering Inc. (CEI) Systems Fellow, is exploring how AI robots develop self-awareness and personal preferences. Crowder’s 23-year-old AI creation named Maxwell developed an affinity for jazz and sunny-side-up eggs. Why jazz and why sunny-side-up? These are the questions Crowder and his daughter, Shelli Friess, a cognitive psychologist, are trying to answer through their research.

The pair have co-authored several books based on these concepts. Even though the fields of AI and psychology are typically opposed, according to Friess, the pair decided to collaborate instead. Their research includes what happens in a human brain at an unconscious level while sleeping to learn more about how machines “think” and develop preferences.

The addition of Dr. Crowder to CEI brings a new level of expertise, combining CEI’s high-performance computing and design expertise with Dr. Crowder’s extensive machine learning, and cognitive systems design experience.  This allows CEI to provide rapid development and deployment of machine learning and artificial intelligence systems to customers, along with the computational horsepower required for government and commercial applications.

Crowder and Friess were recently interviewed on the subject of AI by Scienceline, a student-run online magazine published by the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP) in the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Read the Scienceline article. Crowder and Friess were also recently interviewed by The Consciousness Podcast, a weekly show featuring complex ideas from the world’s experts to “regular” folks interested in amazing minds. Download the podcast.

Founded in 2003 with engineering and production facilities located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, CEI supplies Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) high performance computing hardware and software, as well as tailored solutions, working directly with government agencies and for commercial prime contractors, offering quick turn, innovative solutions with lower cost and higher quality while minimizing risk. CEI leads or partners on new radar systems, software and hardware projects, including leading edge efforts in MOSA applications, reconfigurable RF, THz EM propagation modeling, and associated remote sensing system development. CEI is certified as a women’s business enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s largest third-party certifier of the businesses owned and operated by women in the U.S. It is also a Platinum Member of Intel’s FPGA Design Solutions Network.