Artificial Intelligence, Avatars, and the Future
Most people first heard the word “avatar” from James Cameron’s Avatar, one of the top grossing films of all time. Some consider avatars an extension of the self that can save the world in the context of virtual reality or a video game. In Hinduism, avatars are considered incarnations of deities or immortals. The Hindu god […]
How Brains Are BuiltPrinciples of Computational Neuroscience
The goal of computational neuroscience is to understand the brain and its mechanisms well enough to artificially simulate their functions. Yet there is still much about the brain that is unknown: How does the brain use language, make complex associations, or organize learned experiences? Once the neural pathways responsible for these and many other functions are fully understood and reconstructed, researchers will have the ability to build systems that can match—and maybe even exceed—the brain’s capabilities.
Computer Vision and the Dream of the Cyborg
Two major information-processing systems exist in the world today: brains and computers. Can we merge them, creating the “cyborg” beloved of science fiction writers? For a team at M.I.T., the goal was practical: find a way for a camera hooked to a computer to connect with the visual system to enable people blind from retinal damage to see again.