Google’s DeepMind brings thinking computers one step closer

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 enable speech recognition in digital assistants such as Google Voice and…


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