Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Computers learn to mimic human brain

28 June 2012, 08:39

 San Francisco - Google on Tuesday said it was dabbling with getting computers to simulate the learning process of the human brain as one of the unusual projects for researchers in its X Lab.

Computers programmed with algorithms intended to mimic neural connections "learned" to recognise cats after being shown a sampling of YouTube videos, Google fellow Jeff Dean and visiting faculty Andrew Ng said in a blog post.

"Our hypothesis was that it would learn to recognise common objects in those videos," the researchers said.

"Indeed, to our amusement, one of our artificial neurons learned to respond strongly to pictures of... cats," they continued.

"Remember that this network had never been told what a cat was, nor was it given even a single image labelled as a cat."

The computer, essentially, discovered for itself what a cat looked like, according to Dean and Ng.

The computations were spread across an "artificial neural network" of 16 000 processors and a billion connections in Google data centres.

The small-scale "newborn brain" was shown YouTube images for a week to see what it would learn.

Larger model

"It 'discovered' what a cat looked like by itself from only unlabeled YouTube stills," the researchers said.

"That's what we mean by self-taught learning."

Google researchers are building a larger model and are working on ways to apply the artificial neural network approach to improve technology for speech recognition and natural language modelling, according to Dean and Ng.

"Someday this could make the tools you use every day work better, faster, and smarter," they said.

Dean and Ng conceded that there is a long road ahead, since an adult human brain has around 100 trillion connections.

Google X Lab headed by company co-founder Sergey Brin is known for its work on innovations such as a self-driving car and "Terminator" film style glasses that provide internet information about what is being seen.


Tags google

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...