Friday, March 2, 2007

Software to mimic the human brain

The guy that created Palm and Treo, Jeff Hawkins, has been working on an artificial intelligence program based on principles of how our brain works.

His newest company and software platform is Numenta, "which has three main components: the core problem-solving engine, which works sort of like an operating system based on Hawkins’ theory of the cortex; a set of open source software tools; and the code for the learning algorithms themselves, which users can alter as long as they make their creations available to others. "

"How Numenta’s Software IDs a Chopper
Scan and match

1) The system is shown a poor-quality image of a helicopter moving across a screen. It’s read by low-level nodes that each see a 4 x 4-pixel section of the image.
2) The low-level nodes pass the pattern they see up to the next level.
3) Intermediate nodes aggregate input from the low-level nodes to form shapes.
4) The top-level node compares the shapes against a library of objects and selects the best match.

Predict and refine

5) That info is passed back down to the intermediate - level nodes so they can better predict what shape they’ll see next.
6) Data from higher-up nodes allows the bottom nodes to clean up the image by ignoring pixels that don’t match the expected pattern (indicated above by an X). This entire process repeats until the image is crisp. "

The whole thing sounds revolutionary, but I get flashbacks of VIKI from the I, Robot movie when I think about it.

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