AI Receives Boost as Human Memory Implanted in System

As great as artificial are at doing specific tasks they’ve been programmed to do, they’re really bad at remembering pretty much anything they’ve been taught. However, that may be about to change as AI may soon receive the benefit of a new human-like memory system that means no longer will forget what they’ve learned and they will suddenly become much, much smarter.

Goggle’s DeepMind engineers have been busy demonstrating just how close the associations between our own brain’s and that of AI has become. As part of their continued research, they’ve been busy teaching their AI to dream and fight one another, as well as beat online gamers.But one task that’s been accomplished that’s even greater than those is the fact that they have created an AI that has the ability to retain knowledge between tasks. Even as the AI moves on to new tasks, long-term experiences are created from raw memories.

To demonstrate this issue, the engineers compared the high scores from a series of old Atari games from their memory enhanced AI to that of a control AI with no special memory.  The results showed that as much as the control AI tried, it could only demonstrate slow, low-level skill increases where new skills would overwrite the old ones.  This made the learning process very slow and complex. So instead, GoogleMind’s team introduced EWC – Elastic Weight Consolidation. Using this approach, the team were able to assign “weighted projections” to the synapses in their new system, making them more or less likely to be overwritten depending on their future situation. This way the system was able to learn new skills within the same network by making very few adjustments.

The new EWC system was then given the same task of trying to maximize its score on a series of Atari games, and because it could now hold on to memories, the AI performed much better. This just goes to show how AI is advancing. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll find that AI has in fact grown a conscience. Wouldn’t that be a crazy thought?

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