Human Intelligence Stems From a Single Algorithm

A number of new neuroscience projects, combined with an important theory about how the mind works from infancy, may facilitate large advances in artificial intelligence in the years ahead.

What's the Latest Development?


A number of new neuroscience projects, combined with an important theory about how the mind works from infancy, may facilitate large advances in artificial intelligence in the years ahead. One new and promising direction is called deep learning. "Basically, it involves building neural networks — networks that mimic the behavior of the human brain. Much like the brain, these multi-layered computer networks can gather information and react to it. They can build up an understanding of what objects look or sound like." To mimic human vision, for example, software could be programmed to recognize edges around particular shapes. 

What's the Big Idea?

The most influential theories of artificial intelligence have failed to yield much in the way of practical results since the decades in which they were pioneered. While those theories suggested the mind operates using many different complex algorithms, a new theory suggests that they are all derived from a single formula. "The idea arises from experiments suggesting that the portion of your brain dedicated to processing sound from your ears could also handle sight for your eyes. This is possible only while your brain is in the earliest stages of development, but it implies that the brain is—at its core—a general-purpose machine that can be tuned to specific tasks."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Wired

Related Articles

To save us, half of Earth needs to be given to animals

We're more dependent on them than we realize.

(Photo Lily on Unsplash)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists says our survival depends on biodiversity.
  • A natural climate strategy we often forget.
  • Seeing our place among the Earth's living creatures.
Keep reading Show less

New infographics show how cigarette smokers are socially penalized

There's a high social cost that comes with lighting up.

(Porch)
Sex & Relationships
  • The home improvement company Porch recently polled 1,009 people on their feelings about smoking.
  • The company recently published the results as infographics.
  • In terms of dating, 80 percent of nonsmokers find the habit a turnoff
Keep reading Show less

The "catch" to being on the keto diet

While short-term results are positive, there is mounting evidence against staying in ketosis for too long.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty
Surprising Science
  • Recent studies showed volunteers lost equal or more weight on high-carb, calorie-restricted diets than low-carb, calorie restricted diets.
  • There might be positive benefits to short-term usage of a ketogenic diet.
  • One dietician warns that the ketogenic diet could put diabetics at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis.
Keep reading Show less