Advancing Machine and Human Reasoning (AMHR) Lab

"Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them." - Alfred North Whitehead

Welcome! The Advancing Machine and Human Reasoning Lab (AMHR, pronounced "ah-moor"), led by Professor John Licato in USF's Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is a cross-disciplinary lab dedicated to answering the following guiding research questions:

  • How can artificial intelligence make people better reasoners?
  • How can we create better artificially intelligent reasoners?
  • How can we advance our knowledge of logic and other cognitive-level reasoning processes in order to produce better conclusions, justifications, and arguments?

We're devoted to not only creating smarter AI, but ensuring that these advances help improve, rather than replace, human reasoners. Think of what word processing software did for humanity: it has spell-checking, it takes care of document formatting, and allows people to focus more on the creative production of high-quality, professional documents. In other words, the combination of people and word processing software together does better than either one can do alone. We believe that one day, we can do this with logical reasoning.

Our lab's research can be divided into two categories: formal reasoning, and informal reasoning:

  • Formal reasoning deals with formal logic, logico-mathematical reasoning, and automated theorem proving:
    • Our automated reasoning framework MATR is our primary tool for automatically proving logical and mathematical theorems.
    • Using MATR, we are developing techniques to reason over non-traditional logics: second-order, higher-order, metalogics, and more.
  • Informal reasoning deals with the "messier" everyday kind of reasoning that we tend to use in, say, argumentation.
    • We use natural language processing to find, understand, and generate arguments.
    • Cognitive modeling allows us to better understand and predict how people reason (even when that reasoning is not quite at its best).
    • Our frameworks for improving argumentation, such as WG-A, the Warrant Game, and others, seek to provide people with better (AI-aided) tools to exchange and develop ideas.

For more information, see our research page.

Are you interested in joining the lab as an undergraduate or graduate student?

See our latest updates, and read about our current and past research projects.

Contact: Come visit us at ENB 224, or contact Dr. Licato.