Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tom Mitchell's research

Today, I attended Tom Mitchell's talk. This was perhaps the best research I have seen in 6-7 years. If you have a moment, I encourage you to take a look at his paper summarizing this work.

In short, they found that when a person thinks about some noun, some parts of that person's brain get increased blood flow. It turns out that:
1. The parts of YOUR brain that increase blood flow are so similar to the parts of MY brain that increase blood flow, that I can build a machine learner to learn what brain states map to what nouns based on YOUR brain and then be able to predict what nouns I am thinking about based on pictures of MY brain.
2. By looking at what verbs are most commonly used (on the Internet) in combination with a set of nouns, taking proportional linear combinations of brain pictures for certain nouns allows correct predictions of brain pictures for other nouns.

1 comment:

  1. That was a pretty badass presentation. The excitement was palpable in the room.

    And now we have to fear the coming of the robotic overlords who tap into our thoughts.

    How was the dinner, by the way?