Child Cognition Research May Help Build Smarter Computers

Scientists at UC Berkeley are taking cues from kids to build more intelligent computers. (Photo credit: UC Berkeley News Center.)

Looking for an answer to the question, “Can children make computers smarter?, researchers at the UC Berkeley’s Computational Cognitive Science Lab have developed computational models based on research into infant, toddler, and preschooler cognition.

Young children are capable of solving problems that still pose a challenge for computers, such as learning languages and figuring out causal relationships. We are hoping to make computers smarter by making them a little more like children. Your computer could be able to discover causal relationships, ranging from simple cases such as recognizing that you work more slowly when you haven’t had coffee, to complex ones such as identifying which genes cause greater susceptibility to diseases.”

— Tom Griffiths, director, Computational Cognitive Science Lab, UC Berkeley

In a bid to help improve artificial intelligence, the researchers have used Bayesian probability theory to study the choices kids make when learning. They hope their findings will help to “make computers smarter, more adaptable — and more human.”

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© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.


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