About me

I am a cognitive scientist. I study how brains and AIs think about what to do next.

With my work, I want to contribute to making sure that the AI systems that we build are robustly aligned to human interests.

My PhD work investigates agent-environment interactions during planning. Some of the things that we do in the world (such as rearranging things, feeling how heavy something is, or looking at a problem from different angles) make it easier for us to find solutions to difficult planning problems. How can we understand this in computational terms?
My approach is best described as computational cognitive science: trying to discover the high-level algorithms of cognition using agent-based simulations, computational models, and behavioral experiments.

In one project, I am exploring how the visual structure of the environment can guide planning. I also think about the models underlying physical understanding in humans and machines (and where they differ).

I’m currently a fifth (and final) year PhD student at the Department of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego. I work with Judith Fan (Stanford), David Kirsh (UCSD) and Marcelo Mattar (NYU).

I also work as a VJ and visual artist—find my artistic work at vj.felixbinder.net.

Find my resume and CV here.

Towards a Steganography Evaluation Protocol

Large Language Models, by default, think out in the open. There is no inner memory, all information has to be output as text. Can they hide information in that text such that a human observer cannot detect it? Here, I propose a way of detecting whether models hide the results of intermediate reasoning steps to be able to answer questions more correctly. More …

Productivity tools I use & endorse

It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all copy-books and by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them. Operations of thought are like cavalry charges in a battle — they are strictly limited in number, they require fresh horses, and must only be made at decisive moments.

Alfred North Whitehead

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