Sounds like Google’s virtual “brain” consisting of 16,000 networked computers does a pretty good job of enjoying the same dumb stuff that humans do. John Markoff reports for the Sydney Morning Herald:
Inside Google’s secretive X laboratory, known for inventing self-driving cars and augmented reality glasses, a small group of researchers began working several years ago on a simulation of the human brain.
There Google scientists created one of the largest neural networks for machine learning by connecting 16,000 computer processors, which they turned loose on the internet to learn on its own.
Presented with 10 million digital images found in YouTube videos, what did Google’s brain do? What millions of humans do with YouTube: looked for cats.
The neural network taught itself to recognise cats, which is actually no frivolous activity. This week the researchers will present the results of their work at a conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Google scientists and programmers will note that while it is hardly news that the internet is full of cat videos, the simulation nevertheless surprised them. It performed far better than any previous effort by roughly doubling its accuracy in recognising objects in a challenging list of 20,000 distinct items…
[continues in the Sydney Morning Herald]