An artificial network kept on the ‘edge of chaos’ acts much like a human brain

By | July 5, 2021

Science Alert reports:

Researchers have demonstrated how to keep a network of nanowires in a state that’s right on what’s known as the edge of chaos – an achievement that could be used to produce artificial intelligence (AI) that acts much like the human brain does.

The team used varying levels of electricity on a nanowire simulation, finding a balance when the electric signal was too low when the signal was too high. If the signal was too low, the network’s outputs weren’t complex enough to be useful; if the signal was too high, the outputs were a mess and also useless.

“We found that if you push the signal too slowly the network just does the same thing over and over without learning and developing. If we pushed it too hard and fast, the network becomes erratic and unpredictable,” says physicist Joel Hochstetter from the University of Sydney and the study’s lead author.

Keeping the simulations on the line between those two extremes produced the optimal results from the network, the scientists report. The findings suggest a variety of brain-like dynamics could eventually be produced using nanowire networks.

“Some theories in neuroscience suggest the human mind could operate at this edge of chaos, or what is called the critical state,” says physicist Zdenka Kuncic from the University of Sydney in Australia. “Some neuroscientists think it is in this state where we achieve maximal brain performance.” [Continue reading…]

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