Nav: Home

The brain inspires a new type of artificial intelligence

August 09, 2019

Machine learning, introduced 70 years ago, is based on evidence of the dynamics of learning in our brain. Using the speed of modern computers and large data sets, deep learning algorithms have recently produced results comparable to those of human experts in various applicable fields, but with different characteristics that are distant from current knowledge of learning in neuroscience.

Using advanced experiments on neuronal cultures and large scale simulations, a group of scientists at Bar-Ilan University in Israel has demonstrated a new type of ultrafast artifical intelligence algorithms -- based on the very slow brain dynamics -- which outperform learning rates achieved to date by state-of-the-art learning algorithms.

In an article published today in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers rebuild the bridge between neuroscience and advanced artificial intelligence algorithms that has been left virtually useless for almost 70 years.

"The current scientific and technological viewpoint is that neurobiology and machine learning are two distinct disciplines that advanced independently," said the study's lead author, Prof. Ido Kanter, of Bar-Ilan University's Department of Physics and Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center. "The absence of expectedly reciprocal influence is puzzling."

"The number of neurons in a brain is less than the number of bits in a typical disc size of modern personal computers, and the computational speed of the brain is like the second hand on a clock, even slower than the first computer invented over 70 years ago," he continued. "In addition, the brain's learning rules are very complicated and remote from the principles of learning steps in current artificial intelligence algorithms," added Prof. Kanter, whose research team includes Herut Uzan, Shira Sardi, Amir Goldental and Roni Vardi.

Brain dynamics do not comply with a well-defined clock synchronized for all nerve cells, since the biological scheme has to cope with asynchronous inputs, as physical reality develops. "When looking ahead one immediately observes a frame with multiple objects. For instance, while driving one observes cars, pedestrian crossings, and road signs, and can easily identify their temporal ordering and relative positions," said Prof. Kanter. "Biological hardware (learning rules) is designed to deal with asynchronous inputs and refine their relative information." In contrast, traditional artifical intelligence algorithms are based on synchronous inputs, hence the relative timing of different inputs constituting the same frame is typically ignored.

The new study demonstrates that ultrafast learning rates are surprisingly identical for small and large networks. Hence, say the researchers, "the disadvantage of the complicated brain's learning scheme is actually an advantage". Another important finding is that learning can occur without learning steps through self-adaptation according to asynchronous inputs. This type of learning-without-learning occurs in the dendrites, several terminals of each neuron, as was recently experimentally observed. In addition, network dynamics under dendritic learning are governed by weak weights which were previously deemed insignificant.

The idea of efficient deep learning algorithms based on the very slow brain's dynamics offers an opportunity to implement a new class of advanced artificial intelligence based on fast computers. It calls for the reinitiation of the bridge from neurobiology to artifical intelligence and, as the research group concludes, "Insights of fundamental principles of our brain have to be once again at the center of future artificial intelligence".
-end-


Bar-Ilan University

Related Science Articles:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.
Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.
Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.
World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.
PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.
More Science News and Science Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity
More than a million people have caught Covid-19, and tens of thousands have died. But thousands more have survived and recovered. A week or so ago (aka, what feels like ten years in corona time) producer Molly Webster learned that many of those survivors possess a kind of superpower: antibodies trained to fight the virus. Not only that, they might be able to pass this power on to the people who are sick with corona, and still in the fight. Today we have the story of an experimental treatment that's popping up all over the country: convalescent plasma transfusion, a century-old procedure that some say may become one of our best weapons against this devastating, new disease.   If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood.  To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here.  To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.  And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.   If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. And lastly, Tatiana Prowell's tweet that tipped us off is here. This episode was reported by Molly Webster and produced by Pat Walters. Special thanks to Drs. Evan Bloch and Tim Byun, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.