Matt Summerfield public
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Neuroscience and artificial intelligence work better together. Brain inspired is a celebration and exploration of the ideas driving our progress to understand intelligence. I interview experts about their work at the interface of neuroscience, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, philosophy, psychology, and more: the symbiosis of these overlapping fields, how they inform each other, where they differ, what the past brought us, and what the future brings. Topics include computational n ...
 
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"One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God wit…
 
Brian and I discuss a range of topics related to his latest book, The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values. The alignment problem asks how we can build AI that does what we want it to do, as opposed to building AI that will compromise our own values by accomplishing tasks that may be harmful or dangerous to us. Using some of the sto…
 
Omri, David and I discuss using recurrent neural network models (RNNs) to understand brains and brain function. Omri and David both use dynamical systems theory (DST) to describe how RNNs solve tasks, and to compare the dynamical stucture/landscape/skeleton of RNNs with real neural population recordings. We talk about how their thoughts have evolve…
 
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)By Zeo Church, Paul Meacham
 
K, Josh, and I were postdocs together in Jeff Schall’s and Geoff Woodman’s labs. K and Josh had backgrounds in psychology and were getting their first experience with neurophysiology, recording single neuron activity in awake behaving primates. This episode is a discussion surrounding their reflections and perspectives on neuroscience and psycholog…
 
Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live fre…
 
It’s generally agreed machine learning and AI provide neuroscience with tools for analysis and theoretical principles to test in brains, but there is less agreement about what neuroscience can provide AI. Should computer scientists and engineers care about how brains compute, or will it just slow them down, for example? Chris, Sam, and I discuss ho…
 
Alison and I discuss her work to accelerate learning and thus improve AI by studying how children learn, as Alan Turing suggested in his famous 1950 paper. The ways children learn are via imitation, by learning abstract causal models, and active learning by implementing a high exploration/exploitation ratio. We also discuss child consciousness, psy…
 
Dileep and I discuss his theoretical account of how the thalamus and cortex work together to implement visual inference. We talked previously about his Recursive Cortical Network (RCN) approach to visual inference, which is a probabilistic graph model that can solve hard problems like CAPTCHAs, and more recently we talked about using his RCNs with …
 
Russ and I discuss cognitive ontologies – the “parts” of the mind and their relations – as an ongoing dilemma of how to map onto each other what we know about brains and what we know about minds. We talk about whether we have the right ontology now, how he uses both top-down and data-driven approaches to analyze and refine current ontologies, and h…
 
The rawness and untidiness of the real circumstances of the Christmas Story over 2000 years ago means that all our complex feelings and experiences are welcomed in to the presence of God. “Do not be afraid” the angel over Bethlehem proclaimed, “I bring good news for everyone, everywhere”. Today’s sermon explores what that good news is and how we ca…
 
Carsen and I discuss how she uses 2-photon calcium imaging data from over 10,000 neurons to understand the information processing of such large neural population activity. We talk about the tools she makes and uses to analyze the data, and the type of high-dimensional neural activity structure they found, which seems to allow efficient and robust i…
 
Chris and I discuss his Spaun large scale model of the human brain (Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network), as detailed in his book How to Build a Brain. We talk about his philosophical approach, how Spaun compares to Randy O’Reilly’s Leabra networks, the Applied Brain Research Chris co-founded, and I have guest questions from Brad Aimone, …
 
Matt and I discuss how cognition and behavior drifts over the course of minutes and hours, and how global brain activity drifts with it. How does the brain continue to produce steady perception and action in the midst of such drift? We also talk about how to think about variability in neural activity. How much of it is noise and how much of it is h…
 
Randy and I discuss his LEABRA cognitive architecture that aims to simulate the human brain, plus his current theory about how a loop between cortical regions and the thalamus could implement predictive learning and thus solve how we learn with so few examples. We also discuss what Randy thinks is the next big thing neuroscience can contribute to A…
 
When a waiter hands me the bill, how do I know whether to pay it myself or let my date pay? On this episode, I get a progress update from Dileep on his company, Vicarious, since Dileep’s last episode. We also talk broadly about his experience running Vicarious to develop AGI and robotics. Then we turn to his latest brain-inspired AI efforts using c…
 
Ken and I discuss open-endedness, the pursuit of ambitious goals by seeking novelty and interesting products instead of advancing directly toward defined objectives. We talk about evolution as a prime example of an open-ended system that has produced astounding organisms, Ken relates how open-endedness could help advance artificial intelligence and…
 
Ida and I discuss the current landscape of reinforcement learning in both natural and artificial intelligence, and how the old story of two RL systems in brains – model-free and model-based – is giving way to a more nuanced story of these two systems constantly interacting and additional RL strategies between model-free and model-based to drive the…
 
David, Gyuri, and I discuss the issues they argue for in their back and forth commentaries about the importance of neuroscience and psychology, or implementation-level and computational-level, to advance our understanding of brains and minds – and the names we give to the things we study. Gyuri believes it’s time we use what we know and discover ab…
 
Jane and I discuss the relationship between AI and neuroscience (cognitive science, etc), from her perspective at Deepmind after a career researching natural intelligence. We also talk about her meta-reinforcement learning work that connects deep reinforcement learning with known brain circuitry and processes, and finally we talk about her recent w…
 
Steve and I discuss his long and productive career as a theoretical neuroscientist. We cover his tried and true method of taking a large body of psychological behavioral findings, determining how they fit together and what’s paradoxical about them, developing design principles, theories, and models from that body of data, and using experimental neu…
 
Pieter and I discuss his ongoing quest to figure out how the brain implements learning that solves the credit assignment problem, like backpropagation does for neural networks. We also talk about his work to understand how we perceive individual objects in a crowded scene, his neurophysiological recordings in support of the global neuronal workspac…
 
Daeyeol and I discuss his book Birth of Intelligence: From RNA to Artificial Intelligence, which argues intelligence is a function of and inseparable from life, bound by self-replication and evolution. The book covers a ton of neuroscience related to decision making and learning, though we focused on a few theoretical frameworks and ideas like divi…
 
Romain and I discuss his theoretical/philosophical work examining how neuroscientists rampantly misuse the word “code” when making claims about information processing in brains. We talk about the coding metaphor, various notions of information, the different roles and facets of mental representation, perceptual invariance, subjective physics, proce…
 
Luke 22:31-34 Acts 12 1/ intercession is about praying for others, standing on their behalf for God’s blessings, healing or protection. 2/ all are to embark into the habit of intercession because: - Jesus did it - it’s about bringing God’s will to pass. - it gives access to the deep things of God, - it’s a platform for spiritual empowerment and con…
 
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