brain-inspired artificial general intelligence
DateOfficially began in January 2006 (after I finished my MS thesis), but the core ideas date back to Fall 2004
This project represents my primary research goal: to design and build advanced intelligent machines (artificial general intelligence, or AGI) with mental capabilities similar to the mammalian brain. I believe this goal is becoming increasingly attainable because:
- We have more knowledge of the brain now than ever before, and this knowledge keeps growing.
- Our tools for studying and simulating the brain, including scanning devices, computational power, and data analysis techniques, are improving at an amazing rate.
- In recent years, the cross-disciplinary connection between the brain and computer sciences has become very strong.
My general strategy for accomplishing this goal includes:
- Implementing software systems that mimic the core functional brain components, including sensory cortex, motor cortex, posterior cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, and cerebellum.
- Testing the individual software components to ensure they replicate brain functions.
- Connecting the full integrated system to a full body with sensors and effectors, such as a video game-like simulation or a real robot.
This project was originally inspired by my motor control evolution project, an example of a simulated entity learning complex motor control with very little instruction from the human programmer. That led me to study other forms of machine learning, especially those that require little help from a human teacher, i.e. reinforcement learning. My MS thesis work (i.e. Verve) was basically an initial AGI prototype implementation which was limited to just a few sensors and effectors.
Reinforcement learning is a great framework for designing intelligent machines which must learn from trial and error. However, it is only as effective as the machine's representation of the world. Thus, most of my research effort since 2006 has been focused on engineering an effective context representation, the internal representation of the outside world. In the brain this corresponds to the cerebral cortex.
The posters below describe the individual components of my system in a little more detail.