M challenge to figure out why brains are so good at learning

The U.S. federal government has awarded more than $28 million to Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS),  Center for Brain Science (CBS), and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology to develop advanced machine learning algorithms by pushing the frontiers of neuroscience. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) funds large-scale research programs that address the most difficult challenges facing the intelligence community. Intelligence agencies today are inundated with data — more than they are able to analyze in a reasonable amount of time. Humans, naturally good at recognizing patterns, can’t keep pace with the influx of new information. The pattern-recognition and learning abilities of machines, meanwhile, still pale in comparison to even the simplest mammalian brains. IARPA’s challenge: figure out why brains are so good…


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