created 10 months ago | Tagged:
Google has created an 'artificial brain' from 16,000 computer processors, and sat it down with an internet connection. There's a certain grim inevitability to the fact that the YouTube company's creation began watching stills from cat videos. The team, led by Google's Dr Jeff Dean, used the 16,000 processor array to create a brain-style 'neural network' with more than a billion connections.
The team then fed it random images culled from 10 million YouTube videos - and let it 'learn' by itself. Unsurprisingly, the machine focused in on cats. 'We never told it during the training, ‘This is a cat,'' said Dr. Dean. 'It basically invented the concept of a cat.' 'Contrary to what appears to be a widely-held intuition, our experimental results reveal that it is possible to train a face detector without having to label images as containing a face or not,' says the team in a paper published this week.
The 'brain' was a creation of the company's 'blue sky ideas' lab, Google X.
The lab is reportedly located in Google's Mountain View, California headquarters - known as 'the Googleplex'. Engineers are free to work on projects such as connected fridges that order groceries when they run low - or even tableware that can connect to social networks. Other Google engineers have reportedly researched ideas as far-out as elevators to space. Google co-founder Sergey Brin is deeply involved in the lab. It's known, for example, that his business card is simply a piece of silvery metal decorated with the letter X.