The Brain, Energy & Power

The brain takes around 20% of the body’s daily energy consumption. Converted into power, that means 12.6 watts—equivalent to a bright LED lamp. There are about 1014 synapses, connection points between neurons, in the brain. That’s quite an efficient bundle of neurons!

Problem-solving in the Wild

What’s difficult for humans is sometimes easy for computers, and what’s easy for humans is sometimes difficult for computers. Why is this? Computers do very well with problems that have a well-defined set of rules. Take a game of tic-tac-toe, for example: from placing the first X, computers can easily simulate all possible future states […]

Experiences Invoke Memories

Think of the scent of roses. What memories does it conjure? A leisurely walk in a garden, someone wearing a rosy perfume? In the blink of an eye, you’re able to travel in time through your experiences. The rose leads you to your memories through associations. You’re able to both have memories out of the […]

From Neurons to Networks

In order to build flying machines, we don’t build airplanes that flap their wings, or that are made of bones, muscle, and feather.Likewise, in artificial neural networks, the internal mechanism of the neurons is usually ignored, and artificial neurons are often much simpler than their natural counterparts. If the goal is to build AI systems […]

Public Perceptions and Artificial Intelligence

The unclear nature of emerging technologies like AI makes users unsure about what this new technology is, how it will perform, and how it will impact society. Even research discussing the “societal implications” of AI often takes a techno-optimist or a techno-pessimist angle. A wide array of possibly conflicting meanings, technological frames, and thoughts regarding […]

Datasets, humans, and biases

A human decides what kind of data machines get and what kind of code they run. Machines do just what they’re programmed to do. Datasets are created and curated by humans. For example, labeled images in the gigantic, state-of-the-art database ImageNet have originally been scraped from the Internet, consisting of both stock photos and selfies […]

Generative + Discriminative = GAN

Generative Adversarial Networks are a machine learning model family that can learn to “hallucinate” new examples of complex data. GANs may be used for generating images, for instance—so-called “deepfake” images use GANs. A GAN’s Training Process The GAN has two parts: a Generator, and a Discriminator. The Generator learns to produce increasingly realistic pictures by […]

Robotics and Machine Learning

Robotics means building and programming robots so that they can operate in complex real-world scenarios. In a way, robotics is the ultimate challenge of AI since it requires a combination of virtually all areas of AI: Computer vision and speech recognition for sensing the environment, Natural language processing, information retrieval, and reasoning under uncertainty for […]

Boosting research & human creativity with AI

Methods under the umbrella of AI can be used in various fields. In research, AI methods are a valuable tool for all kinds of tasks that require classification, identification, optimization, or even finding new combinations and predicting future occurrences. AI-aided research has brought us support for weather prediction, speech recognition, and the automatic identification of […]

What is AI?

Think of a cake recipe: it has a list of ingredients and instructions. Following the recipe produces a cake. In computer science, the ingredients are our data, the instructions are called algorithms, and the whole recipe is our program. What’s the cake then? It’s the output of the program. Artificial intelligence is in fact a […]