Google's "Unsupervised" Self-Learning Neural Network Searches For Cat Pics
June 26, 2012 2:30 PM
(Source: Pop Kitten)
Magic happens at Google Inc.'s (
) X Laboratory, a secret research and development center located at an unknown location in the Bay Area of Northern California. Some projects previously disclosed have been the
augmented reality "Google Goggles"
. Google X is even rumored to be working on
a space elevator
I. AI Neural Net Loves Cats
But one of the most fascinating -- and perhaps frightening -- Google X accomplishment has been its creation of one of the world's largest self-learning
"unsupervised" neural networks
. Consisting of 16,000 computer processors, the array is capable of complex task that are considered impossible using traditional algorithms. One such task is finding cute cats on the internet.
As a test of the nascent cognizant system,
Electrical Engineering Professor
Andrew Y. Ng
and Google fellow Jeff Dean fed the machine 10 million thumbnails of YouTube videos. Without being told exactly what to "look for", the network began to hierarchically arrange data, removing duplicate similar features and group certain images together.
One example was the cat. Thanks to the wealth of cat videos on YouTube, the cyber-brain eventually came to a single dream-like image representing the network's knowledge of what a cat looks like. The network was able to then able to recognize its favorite thing -- cat videos, no matter what subtle variations merry YouTubers come up with to their feline's appearance.
The "cat neuron" holds the learned appearance of what a cat looks like.
[Image Source: Jim Wilson/The New York Times]
The significant part, say researchers, is that the network wasn't told what to look for.
in an interview in
New York Times
, "We never told it during the training, ‘This is a cat.' It basically invented the concept of a cat. We probably have other ones that are side views of cats."
II. Future Systems May Match or Beat Human Brain
Google researchers believe this capability is due to the fact that the network operates similarly to the visual cortex in the human brain. The visual cortex is thought to contain so-called "grandmother neurons", which store key images, such as your love ones' faces. The system developed an idea of what a human face looks like, though it lacked the specificity of known faces stored in the human visual cortex.
The system taught itself what a human looks like. [Image Source: Google]
Dr. Ng describes, "A loose and frankly awful analogy is that our numerical parameters correspond to synapses [in the human brain]."
He says that despite that the network learned what a cat looks like and many basic human features, that it still had far less connections ("synapses") than a human brain. In short, mankind is still winning versus his digital counterpart. Writes the team, "It is worth noting that our network is still tiny compared to the human visual cortex, which is a million times larger in terms of the number of neurons and synapses."
David A. Bader
, executive director of high-performance computing at the
College of Computing, though, says that the team's findings indicate that mankind's era of superiority will be short-lived. He comments, "The scale of modeling the full human visual cortex may be within reach before the end of the decade."
In a difficult test of recognizing 20,000 images, the system performed better than any machine to date, post-learning. The final accuracy was 15.8 percent, 70 percent better than the previous record-holder.
The work was
29th International Conference on Machine Learning
in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The project is now headed out of the top-secret lab and into Google's server farms. Applications that it may be used in include improving results in Google's image search and adaptive speech recognition for Android mobile devices.
But Professor Ng has his sights set on a far more ambitious goal -- a machine that is capable of fully learning, developing into a
fully sentient digital system
. To get there he'll need to wait for the never-ending process of hardware improvements to reach a bit further and he'll also have to work on the fundamental algorithms.
The Google X system is close, but not quite there. He states, "It’d be fantastic if it turns out that all we need to do is take current algorithms and run them bigger, but my gut feeling is that we still don’t quite have the right algorithm yet."
The New York Times
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
Report: Wearable Android Google Goggles Will Debut in 2012 for Under $600
February 22, 2012, 11:30 AM
IBM Researchers Develop Neurosynaptic Chips for Cognitive Computing
August 18, 2011, 11:44 AM
Google Developing Self-Piloted Cars
October 11, 2010, 7:22 AM
Leading Neuroscientists Blasts DARPA Cat-Brain Project Calling it a "Scam"
November 24, 2009, 5:18 AM
Carefully Timed Rhythmic Jerks Could Drive Space Elevator
January 6, 2009, 8:15 AM
Google plans ultra-fast wireless Internet for Research Triangle Park, N.C.
August 12, 2016, 6:30 AM
Twitter Senior VP: "Diversity is Important, But We Can’t Lower the Bar"
November 9, 2015, 9:59 AM
CNN Resorts to Internet Censorship to Promote Clinton Over Senator Sanders
October 15, 2015, 2:47 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Most Popular Articles
Car Insurance - The Hidden Discriminatory Practise
October 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
Tesla Announces Level 5 Autonomous Driving
October 19, 2016, 8:30 PM
Apple iOS Contains Secret One-handed Keyboard Code
October 22, 2016, 5:00 AM
Thieves Love iPhones – More than $13,000 Stolen from Apple Store
October 21, 2016, 7:13 AM
Do you hate to do yard work?
October 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Researchers use CRISPR to Accelerate Search for HIV Cure
Oct 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Medical Council of India Makes Generic Medicines Mandatory
Oct 25, 2016, 5:00 AM
MacBoo Pro 2016: Release date Oct. 27
Oct 24, 2016, 7:16 AM
Mac Users, Try this if Your Mac is Infected?
Oct 23, 2016, 7:00 AM
Tips to Prevent Smartphones From Overheating:
Oct 22, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nasa Flies Drones at Nevada Airport
Oct 21, 2016, 8:21 AM
T-Mobile Data Problems
Oct 20, 2016, 10:17 AM
Annoying Apple Watch Problems and How to Fix Them
Oct 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Your Mail May Soon Be Delivered By Robot
Oct 19, 2016, 9:34 AM
2018 Jeep Wrangler Prototype Sells At Junkyard
Oct 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
Samsung Shines with Gold Edition Tablet
Oct 17, 2016, 9:24 AM
Tesla Hints Mysterious Product Debut for October 17th
Oct 16, 2016, 10:14 AM
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones on US flights
Oct 15, 2016, 5:00 AM
Comcast Fined $2.3 Million For Unconfirmed Services Charged To Customers
Oct 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
“American singer / songwriter “Bob Dylan is awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Oct 13, 2016, 10:33 AM
Battery Defect in Medical Device
Oct 12, 2016, 5:00 AM
IBM Bolsters Social Services Sector With Technology Grants
Oct 11, 2016, 5:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information