brain


An AI Pioneer Explains the Evolution of Neural Networks

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Geoffrey Hinton is one of the creators of Deep Learning, a 2019 winner of the Turing Award, and an engineering fellow at Google. Last week, at the company's I/O developer conference, we discussed his early fascination with the brain, and the possibility that computers could be modeled after its neural structure--an idea long dismissed by other scholars as foolhardy. We also discussed consciousness, his future plans, and whether computers should be taught to dream. The conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity. Nicholas Thompson: Let's start when you write some of your early, very influential papers. Everybody says, "This is a smart idea, but we're not actually going to be able to design computers this way." Explain why you persisted and why you were so confident that you had found something important. Geoffrey Hinton: It seemed to me there's no other way the brain could work. It has to work by learning the strength of connections. And if you want to make a device do something intelligent, you've got two options: You can program it, or it can learn. And people certainly weren't programmed, so we had to learn. This had to be the right way to go. NT: Explain what neural networks are. GH: You have relatively simple processing elements that are very loosely models of neurons. They have connections coming in, each connection has a weight on it, and that weight can be changed through learning. And what a neuron does is take the activities on the connections times the weights, adds them all up, and then decides whether to send an output.


US government is funding research into technology that will connect soldiers' brains to computers

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding research that could give a future generation of soldiers the power to control machines and weapons with their minds. The agency said it will fund six organizations through the Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program who will work to design and build interfaces for application in the U.S. military, that could be worn be soldiers and translate their brain signals into instructions. Those instructions could be used to control swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles, wield cyber defense systems, or facilitate military communications. Soldiers may be able to control vehicles and more by using only their minds under a new initiative from the U.S. Department of Defense. While the feat may sound firmly in the realm of science fiction, according to DARPA it is setting a completion date within four years.


The 'inner pickpocket' trait inside all of us lets us tell what an object is by touch alone

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Researchers have identified how the human brain is able to determine the properties of a particular object from touch alone, a so-called inner pickpocket trait. This so-called inner pickpocket trait is inherent in all of us, they say, and is the reason a thief can pilfer a handbag and instantly pull out the most valuable item. It relies on the brain's ability to break up a continuous stream of information and turn it into smaller chunks. This manifests itself for professional pickpockets as being bale to interpret the sequence of small depressions on their fingers separate well-defined objects. 'Notably, the participants in our study were not selected for being professional pickpockets - so these results also suggest there is a secret, statistically savvy pickpocket in all of us,' said Professor Máté Lengyel from the University of Cambridge, who co-led the research.


Artificial Numerosity: When Machines 'Get' Numbers

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At some point, the machine demonstrates that it gets the difference between two dots and ten dots--regardless of how those dots appear on the screen. This ability to abstract quantities and distinguish between the resulting numbers may not seem like a big deal because it's so easy for humans. But new research shows that machines now have this ability to conceptualize numbers--something we might think of as "artificial numerosity." Numerosity is the ability to recognize specific quantities. It's the ability to tune our perception of objects so that we sense how many of them there are.


6 Simple Ways to Use Neuroscience to Increase Marketing Productivity

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Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary science that is concerned with the study of the structure and function of the nervous system. When applied to our professional lives, neuroscience can help us to unlock our greatest potential. Increasing your meaningful productivity can have a huge impact on your day-to-day work and can greatly influence your professional success over a long period of time. This week on the Science of Social Media, we're examining the fascinating field of neuroscience and how it can positively influence our marketing productivity. Think of today's show as little tricks for your brain to work smarter, not harder.


6 Simple Ways to Use Neuroscience to Increase Marketing Productivity

#artificialintelligence

Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary science that is concerned with the study of the structure and function of the nervous system. When applied to our professional lives, neuroscience can help us to unlock our greatest potential. Increasing your meaningful productivity can have a huge impact on your day-to-day work and can greatly influence your professional success over a long period of time. This week on the Science of Social Media, we're examining the fascinating field of neuroscience and how it can positively influence our marketing productivity. Think of today's show as little tricks for your brain to work smarter, not harder.


Introduction To Artificial Intelligence -- Neural Networks

#artificialintelligence

Inspired by the structure of the brain, artificial neural networks (ANN) are the answer to making computers more human like and help machines reason more like humans. They are based on the neural structure of the brain. The brain basically learns from experience. It is natural proof that some problems that are beyond the scope of current computers are indeed solvable by small energy efficient packages. To understand how artificial neural networks work let's first briefly look at the human ones. The exact workings of the human brain are still a mystery. Yet, some aspects of this amazing processor are known. In particular, the most basic element of the human brain is a specific type of cell which, unlike the rest of the body, doesn't appear to regenerate.


Yes, Determinists, There Is Free Will - Issue 72: Quandary

Nautilus

It's not just in politics where otherwise smart people consistently talk past one another. People debating whether humans have free will also have this tendency. Neuroscientist and free-will skeptic Sam Harris has dueled philosopher and free-will defender Daniel Dennett for years and once invited him onto his podcast with the express purpose of finally having a meeting of minds. They flew right past each other yet again. Christian List, a philosopher at the London School of Economics who specializes in how humans make decisions, has a new book, Why Free Will Is Real, that tries to bridge the gap. List is one of a youngish generation of thinkers, such as cosmologist Sean Carroll and philosopher Jenann Ismael, who dissolve the old dichotomies on free will and think that a nuanced reading of physics poses no contradiction for it.


Elon Musk's Neuralink startup raises $39 MILLION as it seeks to develop brain to computer tech

Daily Mail - Science & tech

An Elon Musk-backed startup looking to connect human brains to computers has raised most of its $51 million funding target. According to a report by Bloomberg, Neuralink has raised $39 million of its planned $51 million funding round as per a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Prior funding rounds date back two years when the company raised $27 million after aiming for as much as $100 million. While it's unclear what progress Neuralink has made in its technology, if any, the filings come less than a month after the SpaceX and Tesla CEO foreshadowed the startup's endeavors in an ambiguous tweet. In a response on Twitter, Musk said Neuralink technology is'coming soon.' Elon Musk believes humans must link up with machines in order to fight the inevitable onslaught of artificial intelligence.


Children learn new words best from other infants, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The key to helping your child learn new words may be finding a good study buddy. While children are known to pick up speech patterns learned from their family, a new study has found that they learn best from other kids. Researchers say this may be because they're more attuned to voices that sound like their own. The researchers say children may be more adept at picking up the speech patterns of their peers. 'Sensitivity to talker properties is found to be related to speech processing and language development,' Wang said.