Computers with Imagination

Source: MIT Technology Review, May 2016

… maybe the biggest problem for computers is that they don’t have any (imagination).

Vicarious is developing a new way of processing data, inspired by the way information seems to flow through the brain. The company’s leaders say this gives computers something akin to imagination, which they hope will help make the machines a lot smarter.

 

Vicarious has introduced a new kind of neural-network algorithm designed to take into account more of the features that appear in biology. An important one is the ability to picture what the information it’s learned should look like in difference scenarios—a kind of artificial imagination.

The company’s founders believe a fundamentally different design will be essential if machines are to demonstrate more humanlike intelligence. Computers will have to be able to learn from less data, and to recognize stimuli or concepts more easily.

Its mathematical innovations, Phoenix says, will more faithfully mimic the information processing found in the human brain. … George explained that imagination could help computers process language by tying words, or symbols, to low-level physical representations of real-world things.

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