The human brain is one of the most important, complicated parts of the body. It is capable of extraordinary intelligence and guides the performance of actions that are necessary for our survival. Along with our spinal cords, our brains makes up our central nervous system which is the means of communication between our mind and our body. In addition, it is responsible for retaining our memories, reasoning ability, logical thoughts and subsequent actions. IBM, and other companies, have started to model their artificial intelligence systems on the human brain, to usher in a new era of technology.
This has become necessary for artificial intelligence to continue to evolve. Previously, these systems were built with all the knowledge they require, while a human brain can accumulate additional knowledge over time. They also require access to a large amount of data to be programmed. New skills require the old information to be wiped out and completely reprogrammed. The human brain, on the other hand, learns things incrementally and adds more to its storage constantly. Our intelligence is based on our reasoning capabilities and the ability to apply new information logically, based on past experiences. Artificial intelligence cannot apply logic to any situation it may be faced with, thus limiting its uses.
IBM has done extensive research into our neurological and psychological systems, and applied the knowledge they have gained from this to their development. The company’s ultimate goal is to create artificial intelligence that can learn for a lifetime, and adapt to new circumstances while retaining all knowledge it had previously acquired. The process to achieve this has been split into two sections: short-term adaptation, where a limited amount of time is spent on training a system, and long-term adaptation, which is inspired by the way that the brain forms memories.
The company’s DeepMind team has already created a synthetic neural network, which is designed to use reasoning skills to complete tasks. The systems fitted with the new network have been tested with a series of questions that have forced them to use this ability. 96% of the time these new systems could answer the questions correctly, compared to 42 – 77% in previous artificial intelligence models. The researchers are also adapting the network to store memories, by paying more attention to details and events.
IBM believes that these methods will be the way to change the future of artificial intelligence. These newly acquired reasoning skills mean that after a while the systems would be able to improve and build themselves, which many people think could be a scary possibility. If monitored correctly, however, this development would be monumental for the future of industries that rely on artificial intelligence for expansion. The technology could also be used to save countless lives, fast forward our space and deep sea exploration, and many life changing events.