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MIT researchers create world's first computer model that is able to adequately mimic artificial vision

Scientists in Tomaso Poggio's laboratory at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a computational model of how the human brain processes visual information that specifically mimics how it recognizes street scenes.  The research could be used to help repair damaged brain functions while helping researchers further understand some of the locked mysteries of the brain.  

The original intent behind the research for Poggio has been to successfully develop a model that would be able accurately portray a visual system that would not only be good for neuroscientists and psychologist but also for purposes related to computer science.  "That was Alan Turing's original motivation in the 1940s.  But in the last 50 years, computer science and AI have developed independently of neuroscience.  Our work is biologically inspired computer science."

In the enclosed image, the Poggio model for object recognition is able to receive input as regular unlabeled images of digital images from a Street Scene Database and will then generate an annotation that detects important parts of the street scene.  The system is also able to detect cyclists, buildings, trees, different roads, and the sky.

One of the biggest drawbacks of better development of artificial intelligence is that the human brain is mysterious and extremely complicated to mimic.  While computers are obviously much faster, humans are smarter -- drawing a bridge between the two has been difficult. 

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Self Driving Cars
By bobobeastie on 2/27/2007 3:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder why it wasn't mentioned that this system would be useful for self driving cars. Combine this with GPS and other obstacle avoidance systems and you can play Grand Theft Auto 4 on your way to work.

RE: Self Driving Cars
By TomZ on 2/27/2007 5:19:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think the point of the research is to understand how the mind works, not recognize specific objects. After all, machine vision is pretty advanced, and I would think that picking out items in a scene like demonstrated above using conventional machine vision approaches would be pretty practical. Anybody know more about that subject who could comment?

RE: Self Driving Cars
By msva124 on 2/27/2007 8:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
This so-called breakthrough is nothing new. It's the same pattern recognition NNs that have been in use for years.

“The fact that this system seems to work on realistic street scene images is a concept proof that the activity of neurons as measured in the lab is sufficient to explain how brains can perform complex recognition tasks.”

Complete nonsense, but it'll be sufficient to win more funding. That's how these things work. Run out of money, come out with a faux-breakthrough that's a rehash of something from thirty years ago, get more.

RE: Self Driving Cars
By Belegost on 2/28/2007 1:18:44 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, how the hell does this make it into Dailytech?

I read the paper, it's a four-layer feed-forward network utilizing two different types of neuron, an averaging neuron, and a max neuron. This is hardly anything groundbreaking. The only place they try anything new is claiming that this matches some neural model - of course the fact that there are dozens of different neural models of varying acceptance floating around doesn't seem to affect them.

This was a paper written to get a publication to ensure grant money - we all do these papers when needed so no blame on them, but it isn't something that needs press coverage.

RE: Self Driving Cars
By therealnickdanger on 2/28/2007 8:55:35 AM , Rating: 2
I think this technology will see itself on the enforcement end of traffic before it ever reaches the automotive world:

A system that when combined with laser/radar will independently and accurately catalogues individual vehicles and their speeds and other driving actions.

Combined with facial recognition software, you got an elaborate criminal detection system anywhere there is a camera.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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