How The Human Brain Will Make Robots Smarter

Experts who want to build a better robot are calling for brain scientists and artificial intelligence programmers to work together, saying it will benefit both the advancement of AI technology and our understanding of the human mind.

It’s not about making an exact replica of the human brain and placing it into a robot. Neuroscientist-turned-AI researcher Pascal Kaufmann told International Business Times that the focus should be on understanding how the brain works as a whole, rather than piece by piece, and then using the principles that govern it in an artificial mind.

He compares the development of artificial intelligence to the invention of the airplane: Human beings could not replicate a bird wing with all its nuances, but they created a plane by using the scientific principles by which a bird flies and it worked just as well.

Read: Humans vs. AI: The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence

Some programmers are trying to mimic the human brain but “I think that’s pointless … to copy [and] paste nature,” Kaufmann said.

The relationship between the different fields could be a good thing for both. Kaufmann also describes a situation in which AI programmers could plug neuroscientists’ experimental algorithms and ideas into an advanced artificial brain and see what comes out, with the information guiding their understanding and future efforts.

“A lot of neuroscientists have theories they cannot prove,” he said, but this could provide a whole new way for them to verify or falsify what we think we know about the human brain. And that could change everything.

Artificial intelligence has been very visible in the news lately because of a small feud between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, with the pair divided on whether the advancement of AI is a positive thing for humans or a disaster waiting to happen. Zuckerberg holds a more optimistic view, pointing to medicine as one of the many fields that could benefit from the improved…

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