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Can Natural Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence Be Unified?

Juyang Weng

Fudan University, China
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA


It has been well recognized that a von-neumann computer and a brain compute very differently.   Furthermore, they have very different capabilities.   In this talk, I will discuss that “general-purpose” for a computer is very different from that for a brain. However, a digital computer seems to be capable of simulating a biological brain not only in the ways individual neurons compute, but also in terms of how brain capabilities arise from experience, such as perception, cognition, reasoning, motivation, and motor skills.  Recently, I have published an admittedly controversial book titled “Natural and Artificial Intelligence: Introduction to Computational Brain-Mind.”   The two words “brain” and “mind” are hyphenated because the work intends to map a brain-inspired developmental model to brain’s external behaviors widely studied in psychology and simulated by artificial intelligence techniques.   In particular, (1) some experimental evidences that human brains exhibited, such as the evidence of transfer in perceptual learning demonstrated by Prof. Cong Yu and coworkers and the “global first” principle in visual recognition and visual motion advocated by Prof. Lin Chen, have been computationally explained and simulated by a new kind of model called Developmental Network (DN), (2) abstraction and some rich rule-like operations that traditional neural networks models have been problematic in learning have been theoretically proven and experimentally preliminarily shown to have been overcome by the DN.   This DN model hopefully is useful for psychologists and neuroscientists in their future experimental studies.  

Short Bio

Juyang (John) Weng is a professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Cognitive Science Program, and the Neuroscience Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA, and a visiting professor at the Computer Science School of the Fudan University, Shanghai, China.  He received his BS degree from Fudan University in 1982, his MS and PhD degrees from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985 and 1989, respectively, all in Computer Science.  From August 2006 to May 2007, he was also a visiting professor at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science of MIT.   His research interests include computational biology, computational neuroscience, computational developmental psychology, biologically inspired systems, computer vision, audition, touch, behaviors, and intelligent robots.  He is the author or coauthor of over two hundred fifty research articles. He was an associate editor of IEEE Trans. on Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence and an associate editor of IEEE Trans. on Image Processing.  He is an editor-in-chief of International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, the editor-in-chief of the Brain-Mind Magazine, an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, and a Fellow of IEEE.

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Last updated: January 19, 2013