Over the past few years my research within Cognitive Science has taken me to many unexpected places. This is probably the part of the program I enjoy the most, its ability to keep me on my toes. I have found myself studying topics like Cognitive Musicology (there is a class offered in this which I will hereby endorse) and the evolutionary function of dreams. This year I have surprised myself by doing a large amount of research in the field of Artificial Intelligence. This field is mildly terrifying if you don't know much about it. I was always turned off by it, because, first of all, it just seemed like something that was out of my intellectual league, and second, it has been terribly misconstrued by Hollywood (as Jamie mentions in her history of Cog Sci). I was always surprised when one of my peers in Cog Sci wanted to do all of his projects on AI. It just didn't click for me how a kid my age could have an actual grasp, let alone an interest at all, on the topic. Needless to say, after looking into the topic a bit, I not only now understand why he was interested, but have the same interest. And since you, the reader, already have an interest in Cognitive Science, you have the potential to gain an interest in Artificial Intelligence too! I had high hopes of informing you of all the ways AI is used in this modern world for this blog post, but since I have a habit of going on about things for a bit too long, I will settle for reassuring you of two things you may have incorrect about AI and saving its practical applications for another post. So to get the big misconception out of the way: there is no such thing as Skynet in the real world. Hal's fiction too. Stories of machines gaining higher intelligence than their human makers and then deciding to be rid of them is good fiction, but this is not what AI is concerned with. It is more concerned with topics like (but certainly not limited to) speech recognition (what's up iPhone 4S!) and natural language processing. The second misconception is that you have to be some kind of mad genius to study it. I'm reading (and grasping) papers on the subject every week as a part of a research project, and I am but a lowly undergrad like yourself. This is not too say it is an easy topic to study, but it's certainly not out of reach. The point of this is Cognitive Science will likely lead you somewhere you weren't expecting to go, and even if the topic seems too difficult or somehow out of reach for you, it likely is not. Just keep your mind open, don't fear the unknown and you might find yourself studying something you weren't expecting. You might even have fun doing it.