Friday, August 31, 2007

Learn Like A Human

Published by Jeff Hawkins
IEEE Spectrum magazine, April 2007

By the age of five, a child can understand spoken language, distinguish a cat from a dog, and play a game of catch. These are three of the many things humans find easy that computers and robots currently cannot do. Despite decades of research, we computer scientists have not figured out how to do basic tasks of perception and robotics with a computer. Our few successes at building "intelligent" machines are notable equally for what they can and cannot do. Computers, at long last, can play winning chess. But the program that can beat the world champion can't talk about chess, let alone learn backgammon. Today's programs-at best-solve specific problems. Where humans have broad and flexible capabilities, computers do not. Perhaps we've been going about it in the wrong way. Click for more...

[G.K Comment: An excellent article by Jeff Hawkins on Hierarchical Temporal Memory. ]

“Forward” software engineering: "Brain-like software architecture... Confessions of an ex-neuroscientist"

Published by Bill Softky

Which comes first: the problem or the solution?

Reverse engineering starts with hardware, works backward. Usually only succeeds if problem is understood. “Forward” software engineering starts with the problem, and saves hardware for last. Click for more... (.ppt file)

[G.K Comment: An interesting presentation by Bill Softky on how we could use forward software engineering to solve hard problems, such the "brain" one.]

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Neural Darwinism

Published by David Cofer of

"There are a multitude of different theories on the mind. Many more than have been discussed in this document. However, of all the ones I have seen before, I feel that this one offers the greatest hope of coming up with a real, working understanding of the science and neurobiology of how the mind works and what consciousness really is. Its author, Gerald Edelman, is a former Nobel laureate who was instrumental in cracking the mystery of how our immune systems work. After that he turned his attention to something far more difficult, attempting to understand how the neurobiology of the brain forms the mind. The main thrust of his theory of neural Darwinism is that the brain is a somatic selection system similar to evolution, and not an instructional system. (Somatic means that is over the time scale of your body instead of being on the time scale of evolution.)" Click for more...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Published by David Cofer of

"I built this website to document the progress on my research into machine intelligence. Specifically, I am currently focused on building a computer simulation that behaves like a common, everyday insect using neural networks. Most researchers in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) try to understand and replicate human thought and abilities. I believe this is a mistake. You must start small and work your way up the evolutionary ladder, not immediately start with the most complicated thing in the known universe. Insects seem pretty stupid when compared with humans, but they are capable of a variety of intelligent, adaptive behaviors in a very unpredictable environment. And that is something that no man made system is yet capable of emulating. Also, when you get groups of insects working together in a cooperative manner they are capable of almost miraculous accomplishments. Once we begin to understand how these tiny brains work to produce such incredible behaviors then we will be able to harness that power for useful purposes. " Click for more...

[G.K Comment: David Cofer takes the approach of simulating a relatively simple insect's brain and then following the evolutionary ladder to understand more complex brain formations. Although this could make sense for solving some other real life problems, I believe that understanding an insect's brain is far more difficult than understanding a human baby's brain! I mean it! The reason is that human beings are the most incapable living organisms the moment of their birth. We also take a long time before we can perform even the most basic tasks such as walking & talking. In my opinion, we can develop a functional brain that looks nothing like any existing organism, as long as it can sense its environment and gain knowledge about it without pre-programming.]