How your brain learns to ride the subway — and why AI developers care

IMAGE: The subway map that participants navigated. The map was rotated and the line colors and station names were shuffled between participants. Participants only saw the map during training. view more Credit: Balaguer et al./Neuron 2016 In machine learning, a programmer might develop an AI that can calculate all possible consequences of a single action. Humans, however, don’t have the same raw computational power; we have to efficiently create and execute a plan. We mentally invent different “layers” to organize our actions and then think about the higher levels rather than individual steps, according to a Neuron study from members of Google DeepMind and the University of Oxford publishing May 18. “The idea is basically to understand how humans or animals make long-term decisions,” says Jan Balaguer, a PhD student at…


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