Brainy Breakdown: 5/26/2017

Brainy Breakdown: 5/26/2017

DeepMind’s AlphaGo achieves superhuman performance, becoming “the god of the Go game” A surprisingly reasonable discussion about the singularity. Note that they don’t use the word. Related: AI can be overhyped. On the positive side, Sebastian Thrun on the power of AI. Privacy concerns who? Google takes on AutoML to...
Paper Review: An Integration of Deep Learning and Neuroscience, Part 3

Paper Review: An Integration of Deep Learning and Neuroscience, Part 3

In our previous post we talked about how the brain might optimize cost functions. Now we’ll explore how cost functions may be generated, represented, and change over time in the brain. Marblestone et al outline several ways that cost functions could be generated.  In particular, they talk about specialized circuitry...
Paper Review: An Integration of Deep Learning and Neuroscience, Part 2

Paper Review: An Integration of Deep Learning and Neuroscience, Part 2

One of the key sticking points in discussions comparing machine learning and the brain is how the notion of “learning” differs between computational and biological systems. In section 2 of their paper, Marblestone et al. grapple with this issue in detail. For our introduction post on this paper, go here....
Latest entries
Neuroscience news: what's fake and what's real?

Neuroscience news: what’s fake and what’s real?

Reporters have gotten very, very good at writing catchy headlines.  With all of the clickbait floating around the internet, the news has become an arms race, and science news is no exception.  Since people like hearing about how their brains work, and everyone secretly (not so secretly?) likes reading about sex, drugs and rock and...
Trump's War on Science

Trump’s War on Science

Donald Trump has been president for just over a week, but he’s wasted no time making his agenda clear.  The administration has made its agenda clear with a set of discriminatory executive orders, the blatant denial of facts, and talk of alternative facts, Brainy is a science blog, and so we feel it is our...
What should an intro to machine learning course look like?

What should an intro to machine learning course look like?

As we gear up for another semester, once again the “Introduction to Machine Learning” course offered by CMU is filled to capacity, with a long waitlist to boot.  It has become overwhelmingly one of the most popular courses for graduate students at CMU – several departments even list it as a required course. Why so...

Podcast Roundup

Welcome to 2017!  For me, 2016 was the year of the podcast.  I started listening to several Machine Learning and Academia related podcasts.  Here’s a quick round-up of my favorites from the past year… Machine Learning Focused Partially derivative – This one is good if you’re new to ML, as it assumes very little background...
Paper review: The brain adapts to dishonesty

Paper review: The brain adapts to dishonesty

Does dishonesty escalate over time? Garrett et al seek to answer this question and substantiate something we all have observed anecdotally: that dishonesty can be a “slippery slope.” The idea is that if you are dishonest once, it is easier to be dishonest again, and this effect can accumulate over time. This paper generated some...
ML Ethics and the "Criminal Detector"

ML Ethics and the “Criminal Detector”

Confession: I roll my eyes whenever someone says the word ‘singularity.’ As awesome frightening as it would be to have computers take over the world, the fear of that potential future distracts from the more pressing ethical concerns surrounding machine learning and AI today. Edward Snowden alerted everyone in the US to the possibility that...