Google AI project apes memory, programs (sort of) like a human

Neural Turing Machines attempt to emulate the brain's short-term memory

Artificial intelligence concept illustration

An artificial intelligence concept illustration.

abstract, android, artificial, binary, blue, brain, cell, communication, computer, concept, connection, creative, cyber, cybernetic, cyberspace, cyborg, data, digit, digital, fantasy, fiction, future, futuristic, fuzzy, head, human, idea, illustration, imagination, informatics, information, dreamstime

dreamstime_29416761
Artificial intelligence concept illustration An artificial intelligence concept illustration. abstract, android, artificial, binary, blue, brain, cell, communication, computer, concept, connection, creative, cyber, cybernetic, cyberspace, cyborg, data, digit, digital, fantasy, fiction, future, futuristic, fuzzy, head, human, idea, illustration, imagination, informatics, information, dreamstime dreamstime_29416761

The mission of Google's DeepMind Technologies startup is to "solve intelligence." Now, researchers there have developed an artificial intelligence system that can mimic some of the brain's memory skills and even program like a human.

The researchers developed a kind of neural network that can use external memory, allowing it to learn and perform tasks based on stored data.

Neural networks are interconnected computational "neurons." While conventional neural networks have lacked readable and writeable memory, they have been used in machine learning and pattern-recognition applications such as computer vision and speech recognition.

The so-called Neural Turing Machine (NTM) that DeepMind researchers have been working on combines a neural network controller with a memory bank, giving it the ability to learn to store and retrieve information.

The system's name refers to computer pioneer Alan Turing's formulation of computers as machines having working memory for storage and retrieval of data.

The researchers put the NTM through a series of tests including tasks such as copying and sorting blocks of data. Compared to a conventional neural net, the NTM was able to learn faster and copy longer data sequences with fewer errors. They found that its approach to the problem was comparable to that of a human programmer working in a low-level programming language.

The NTM "can infer simple algorithms such as copying, sorting and associative recall from input and output examples," DeepMind's Alex Graves, Greg Wayne and Ivo Danihelka wrote in a research paper available on the arXiv repository.

"Our experiments demonstrate that it is capable of learning simple algorithms from example data and of using these algorithms to generalize well outside its training regime."

A spokesman for Google declined to provide more information about the project, saying only that the research is "quite a few layers down from practical applications."

In a 2013 paper, Graves and colleagues showed how they had used a technique known as deep reinforcement learning to get DeepMind software to learn to play seven classic Atari 2600 video games, some better than a human expert, with the only input being information visible on the game screen.

Google confirmed earlier this year that it had acquired London-based DeepMind Technologies, founded in 2011 as an artificial intelligence company. The move is expected to have a major role in advancing the search giant's research into robotics, self-driving cars and smart-home technologies.

More recently, DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis wrote in a blog post that Google is partnering with artificial intelligence researchers from Oxford University to study topics including image recognition and natural language understanding.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

5 common mistakes to avoid in scalable customer experience

CX is about future-proofing your business by ensuring that your commercial model is always looped into your customers' needs, perceptions, values, beliefs, motivators, and detractors.

Tom Uhlhorn

Founder and strategy director, Tiny CX

5 cornerstones of a strong digital culture

Creating a strong company culture may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. In fact, company culture is created in exactly the same fashion as a religion or democracy. Behaviours created from the organisation’s inception are reinforced over time by leadership, attracting like-minded people and eventually reaching critical mass to become an accepted ‘truth’.

Anthony Stevens

Founder and CEO, Digital Asset Ventures

Should you rebuild your company’s tech stack in blockchain?

The question I get asked most regularly these days is: ‘Do I need to rebuild my company’s systems on Blockchain?’ And the answer, every time, is ‘No, you’re asking the wrong question’.

Michelle O'Keeffe

CEO, Engaging.io

Greetings to you,We are one of the America, Europe, Asia and Africa Private leading Investment Company that offers soft loan.Do you need ...

Janet Williams

ACCC releases Consumer Data Right draft framework for comment

Read more

I have been suffering hardship from HERPES VIRUSsince 7 years now, and i happen to have 2 kids for myhusband, and now we cannot proceed t...

grace

Audi Australia gets a new CMO

Read more

What is your opinion about chatbots serving your customers? My belief is bots are going to be the future of customer service and fulfilme...

Giridhar Prathap Reddy

NAB taps power of AI chatbots for business customer service

Read more

Thanks for writing about chatbots. Definitely bots have the exciting future when it comes to customer engagement, transactional and conve...

Giridhar Prathap Reddy

Deloitte TMT Predictions: AR and mobile crucial for marketing success in 2018

Read more

Hi there! Thanks for this interesting article! I love to read about new technology and software that makes our lives easier. I'm looking ...

Julia Summer

Wartsila overhauls Web platforms to create ‘seamless’ brand experience across all devices

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in