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Artificial Brain Learns to Watch Cat Videos

Google experiment may make you feel better about your online habits
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2012 6:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – It turns out our future robot overlords love watching cats on the Internet, too. Google used 16,000 computer processors to create an artificial brain, connected it to the Internet, and fed it random images from 10 million YouTube videos so it could "learn." Its response was to start looking at … stills from YouTube cat videos. "We never told it during the training, 'This is a cat,'" says the lead researcher. "It basically invented the concept of a cat."

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The researchers determined that it was possible for the brain—really a "neural network" with more than one billion connections—to learn to detect a face on its own, without being told whether an image contains a face, the Daily Mail reports. "We also find that the same network is sensitive to other high-level concepts such as cat faces and human bodies," the paper reads. (Read more brain stories.)

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