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Are babies the key to the next generation of artificial intelligence?


Babies can help unlock the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI), according to Trinity neuroscientists and colleagues who have just published new guiding principles for improving AI. The research, published today in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, examines the neuroscience and psychology of infant learning and distills three principles to guide the next generation of AI, which will help overcome the most pressing limitations of machine learning. Dr. Lorijn Zaadnoordijk, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow at Trinity College explained: "Artificial intelligence (AI) has made tremendous progress in the last decade, giving us smart speakers, autopilots in cars, ever-smarter apps, and enhanced medical diagnosis. These exciting developments in AI have been achieved thanks to machine learning which uses enormous datasets to train artificial neural network models. "However, progress is stalling in many areas because the datasets that machines learn from must be painstakingly curated by humans.

The Promise & Peril of Brain Machine Interfaces, with Ricardo Chavarriaga


ANJA KASPERSEN: Today's podcast will focus on artificial intelligence (AI), neuroscience, and neurotechnologies. My guest today is Ricardo Chavarriaga. Ricardo is an electrical engineer and a doctor of computational neuroscience. He is currently the head of the Swiss office of the Confederation of Laboratories for AI Research in Europe (CLAIRE) and a senior researcher at Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Ricardo, it is an honor and a delight to share the virtual stage with you today. I am really happy and looking forward to a nice discussion today. ANJA KASPERSEN: Neuroscience is a vast and fast-developing field. Maybe you could start by providing our listeners with some background. When we think about the brain, this is something that has fascinated humanity for a long time. The question of how this organ that we have inside our heads can rule our behavior and can store and develop knowledge has been indeed one of the questions for science for many, many years. Neurotechnologies, computational neuroscience, and brain-machine interfaces are tools that we have developed to approach the understanding of this fabulous organ. When we talk about computational neuroscience it is the use of computational tools to create models of the brain. It can be mathematical models, it can be algorithms that try to reproduce our observations about the brain. It can be experiments on humans and on animals: these experiments can be behavioral, they can involve measurements of brain activity, and by looking at how the brains of organisms react and how the activity changes we will then try to apply our knowledge to create models for that. These models can have different flavors. We can for instance have very detailed models of electrochemical processes inside a neuron, and then we are looking at just a small part of the brain. We can have large-scale models with fewer details of how different brain structures interact among themselves, or even less-detailed models that try to reproduce behavior that we observe in animals and in humans as a result of certain mental disorders. We can even test these models using probes to tap into how can our brain construct representations of the world based on images, based on tactile, and based on auditory information.

Predicting the intended action using internal simulation of perception Artificial Intelligence

This article proposes an architecture, which allows the prediction of intention by internally simulating perceptual states represented by action pattern vectors. To this end, associative self-organising neural networks (A-SOM) is utilised to build a hierarchical cognitive architecture for recognition and simulation of the skeleton based human actions. The abilities of the proposed architecture in recognising and predicting actions is evaluated in experiments using three different datasets of 3D actions. Based on the experiments of this article, applying internally simulated perceptual states represented by action pattern vectors improves the performance of the recognition task in all experiments. Furthermore, internal simulation of perception addresses the problem of having limited access to the sensory input, and also the future prediction of the consecutive perceptual sequences. The performance of the system is compared and discussed with similar architecture using self-organizing neural networks (SOM).

Latent gaze information in highly dynamic decision-tasks Artificial Intelligence

Digitization is penetrating more and more areas of life. Tasks are increasingly being completed digitally, and are therefore not only fulfilled faster, more efficiently but also more purposefully and successfully. The rapid developments in the field of artificial intelligence in recent years have played a major role in this, as they brought up many helpful approaches to build on. At the same time, the eyes, their movements, and the meaning of these movements are being progressively researched. The combination of these developments has led to exciting approaches. In this dissertation, I present some of these approaches which I worked on during my Ph.D. First, I provide insight into the development of models that use artificial intelligence to connect eye movements with visual expertise. This is demonstrated for two domains or rather groups of people: athletes in decision-making actions and surgeons in arthroscopic procedures. The resulting models can be considered as digital diagnostic models for automatic expertise recognition. Furthermore, I show approaches that investigate the transferability of eye movement patterns to different expertise domains and subsequently, important aspects of techniques for generalization. Finally, I address the temporal detection of confusion based on eye movement data. The results suggest the use of the resulting model as a clock signal for possible digital assistance options in the training of young professionals. An interesting aspect of my research is that I was able to draw on very valuable data from DFB youth elite athletes as well as on long-standing experts in arthroscopy. In particular, the work with the DFB data attracted the interest of radio and print media, namely DeutschlandFunk Nova and SWR DasDing. All resulting articles presented here have been published in internationally renowned journals or at conferences.

Data-driven emergence of convolutional structure in neural networks Machine Learning

Exploiting data invariances is crucial for efficient learning in both artificial and biological neural circuits. Understanding how neural networks can discover appropriate representations capable of harnessing the underlying symmetries of their inputs is thus crucial in machine learning and neuroscience. Convolutional neural networks, for example, were designed to exploit translation symmetry and their capabilities triggered the first wave of deep learning successes. However, learning convolutions directly from translation-invariant data with a fully-connected network has so far proven elusive. Here, we show how initially fully-connected neural networks solving a discrimination task can learn a convolutional structure directly from their inputs, resulting in localised, space-tiling receptive fields. These receptive fields match the filters of a convolutional network trained on the same task. By carefully designing data models for the visual scene, we show that the emergence of this pattern is triggered by the non-Gaussian, higher-order local structure of the inputs, which has long been recognised as the hallmark of natural images. We provide an analytical and numerical characterisation of the pattern-formation mechanism responsible for this phenomenon in a simple model, which results in an unexpected link between receptive field formation and the tensor decomposition of higher-order input correlations. These results provide a new perspective on the development of low-level feature detectors in various sensory modalities, and pave the way for studying the impact of higher-order statistics on learning in neural networks.

Prospective Learning: Back to the Future Artificial Intelligence

Research on both natural intelligence (NI) and artificial intelligence (AI) generally assumes that the future resembles the past: intelligent agents or systems (what we call 'intelligence') observe and act on the world, then use this experience to act on future experiences of the same kind. We call this 'retrospective learning'. For example, an intelligence may see a set of pictures of objects, along with their names, and learn to name them. A retrospective learning intelligence would merely be able to name more pictures of the same objects. We argue that this is not what true intelligence is about. In many real world problems, both NIs and AIs will have to learn for an uncertain future. Both must update their internal models to be useful for future tasks, such as naming fundamentally new objects and using these objects effectively in a new context or to achieve previously unencountered goals. This ability to learn for the future we call 'prospective learning'. We articulate four relevant factors that jointly define prospective learning. Continual learning enables intelligences to remember those aspects of the past which it believes will be most useful in the future. Prospective constraints (including biases and priors) facilitate the intelligence finding general solutions that will be applicable to future problems. Curiosity motivates taking actions that inform future decision making, including in previously unmet situations. Causal estimation enables learning the structure of relations that guide choosing actions for specific outcomes, even when the specific action-outcome contingencies have never been observed before. We argue that a paradigm shift from retrospective to prospective learning will enable the communities that study intelligence to unite and overcome existing bottlenecks to more effectively explain, augment, and engineer intelligences.

Bayesian sense of time in biological and artificial brains Artificial Intelligence

Enquiries concerning the underlying mechanisms and the emergent properties of a biological brain have a long history of theoretical postulates and experimental findings. Today, the scientific community tends to converge to a single interpretation of the brain's cognitive underpinnings -- that it is a Bayesian inference machine. This contemporary view has naturally been a strong driving force in recent developments around computational and cognitive neurosciences. Of particular interest is the brain's ability to process the passage of time -- one of the fundamental dimensions of our experience. How can we explain empirical data on human time perception using the Bayesian brain hypothesis? Can we replicate human estimation biases using Bayesian models? What insights can the agent-based machine learning models provide for the study of this subject? In this chapter, we review some of the recent advancements in the field of time perception and discuss the role of Bayesian processing in the construction of temporal models.

A Survey on Hyperdimensional Computing aka Vector Symbolic Architectures, Part II: Applications, Cognitive Models, and Challenges Artificial Intelligence

This is Part II of the two-part comprehensive survey devoted to a computing framework most commonly known under the names Hyperdimensional Computing and Vector Symbolic Architectures (HDC/VSA). Both names refer to a family of computational models that use high-dimensional distributed representations and rely on the algebraic properties of their key operations to incorporate the advantages of structured symbolic representations and vector distributed representations. Holographic Reduced Representations is an influential HDC/VSA model that is well-known in the machine learning domain and often used to refer to the whole family. However, for the sake of consistency, we use HDC/VSA to refer to the area. Part I of this survey covered foundational aspects of the area, such as historical context leading to the development of HDC/VSA, key elements of any HDC/VSA model, known HDC/VSA models, and transforming input data of various types into high-dimensional vectors suitable for HDC/VSA. This second part surveys existing applications, the role of HDC/VSA in cognitive computing and architectures, as well as directions for future work. Most of the applications lie within the machine learning/artificial intelligence domain, however we also cover other applications to provide a thorough picture. The survey is written to be useful for both newcomers and practitioners.

Where Is My Mind (looking at)? Predicting Visual Attention from Brain Activity Artificial Intelligence

Visual attention estimation is an active field of research at the crossroads of different disciplines: computer vision, artificial intelligence and medicine. One of the most common approaches to estimate a saliency map representing attention is based on the observed images. In this paper, we show that visual attention can be retrieved from EEG acquisition. The results are comparable to traditional predictions from observed images, which is of great interest. For this purpose, a set of signals has been recorded and different models have been developed to study the relationship between visual attention and brain activity. The results are encouraging and comparable with other approaches estimating attention with other modalities. The codes and dataset considered in this paper have been made available at \url{} to promote research in the field.

Systems Challenges for Trustworthy Embodied Systems Artificial Intelligence

A new generation of increasingly autonomous and self-learning systems, which we call embodied systems, is about to be developed. When deploying these systems into a real-life context we face various engineering challenges, as it is crucial to coordinate the behavior of embodied systems in a beneficial manner, ensure their compatibility with our human-centered social values, and design verifiably safe and reliable human-machine interaction. We are arguing that raditional systems engineering is coming to a climacteric from embedded to embodied systems, and with assuring the trustworthiness of dynamic federations of situationally aware, intent-driven, explorative, ever-evolving, largely non-predictable, and increasingly autonomous embodied systems in uncertain, complex, and unpredictable real-world contexts. We are also identifying a number of urgent systems challenges for trustworthy embodied systems, including robust and human-centric AI, cognitive architectures, uncertainty quantification, trustworthy self-integration, and continual analysis and assurance.