Moonshot Brain Studies push Boundaries of Computer Science, bring AI Closer to Reality

Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Center for Brain Science (CBS), and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology have been awarded over $28 million 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. Today, intelligence agencies 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. 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 at learning, and use that information to design computer systems that can…


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