Naturally, Google X’s First Computer Brain Recognizes (What Else?) Cats

    June 26, 2012
    Drew Bowling
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If you were an internet and tech company building a replication of the human brain using 1,000 computers, of course the first thing you would train that robo-brain to recognize would be cats. Didn’t you know that’s why the internet was built? Of course this is how the Singularity happens!

According to the BBC, a team of researchers working at Google’s hyper-secret X Labs division have been working on building a computerized copy of the human brain using computerized neural pathways and 16,000 processing cores.

As millions of images were analysed by Google’s network of silicon nerves, some parts of it started to react to specific elements in those pictures.

After three days and 10 million images the network could spot a cat, even though it had never been told what one looked like.

After mastering the cat challenge, the computer system is said to also know how to pick out shapes of the human body as well as human faces. Still, we may still be a few years away from worrying about any kind of artificially-intelligent uprising from these Google X creations. In the research paper, which the scientists will be presenting at the International Conference on Machine Learning, the researchers wrote (with what I imagine to be relief) that the computer brain they’ve built is still a million times smaller than the human visual cortex.

It’s a little terrifying that the robo-brain was able to recognize a cat without even knowing what a cat looked like, but it’s good to know that these future cat-loving overlords of humanity will be easily distracted with a healthy arsenal of YouTube videos like this:

[Via BBC.]
  • Kat

    Why did the google computer pick cat? Cats are a more popular video subject than, well, God or Dog.

    Here are the google statistics on videos
    God- 1,100,000,000

  • Susan

    Amen, Kat. Naturally any internet newbie would pick out cats over any other subject because of the popularity and great abundance of kitty videos and images. This “brain” has excellent taste.

  • http://probablydontlikeyou.wordpress.com/ Frank Lee Meidere

    So why cats? I don’t mean why were cats chosen as the subject matter — I mean, why did the algorithm learn to pick out cats from all the rest of the noise? Is it possibly because the algorithm itself was influenced to do so? In other words, why didn’t the algorithm pick out pianos, doors, people, and a host of other things that would also have been in the videos? Obviously because there was a predisposition in the algorithm itself to do so.