Google’s DeepMind brings thinking computers a step closer

An artist’s impression of Google’s Differentiable Neural Computer © Google DeepMind Google’s artificial intelligence arm has made a breakthrough in the development of thinking computers by creating a learning machine that combines a “neural network” computing system with conventional computer memory. Scientists at DeepMind, the tech group’s London-based AI unit, have built a “differentiable neural computer”, or DNC, that for the first time can solve small-scale problems without prior knowledge, such as planning the best route between distant stations on the London Underground or working out relationships between relatives on family trees. Neural networks — connected systems modelled on biological neural networks such as the brain — have played a big role in the recent and rapid progress in AI research. They are excellent at deducing patterns, for example, to…


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