What's up in

neural networks

machine learning

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Science

March 11, 2019

The latest AI algorithms are probing the evolution of galaxies, calculating quantum wave functions, discovering new chemical compounds and more. Is there anything that scientists do that can’t be automated?

artificial intelligence

Foundations Built for a General Theory of Neural Networks

January 31, 2019

Neural networks can be as unpredictable as they are powerful. Now mathematicians are beginning to reveal how a neural network’s form will influence its function.

Photo of Been Kim

A New Approach to Understanding How Machines Think

January 10, 2019

Neural networks are famously incomprehensible, so Been Kim is developing a “translator for humans.”

Art for "Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room"
artificial intelligence

Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room

September 20, 2018

A visual prank exposes an Achilles’ heel of computer vision systems: Unlike humans, they can’t do a double take.

Art for "New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell"
artificial intelligence

New AI Strategy Mimics How Brains Learn to Smell

September 18, 2018

Machine learning techniques are commonly based on how the visual system processes information. To beat their limitations, scientists are drawing inspiration from the sense of smell.

Art for "‘Functional Fingerprint’ May Identify Brains Over a Lifetime"

‘Functional Fingerprint’ May Identify Brains Over a Lifetime

August 16, 2018

A unique neurological “functional fingerprint” allows scientists to explore the influence of genetics, environment and aging on brain connectivity.

Art for "A Math Theory for Why People Hallucinate"

A Math Theory for Why People Hallucinate

July 30, 2018

Psychedelic drugs can trigger characteristic hallucinations, which have long been thought to hold clues about the brain’s circuitry. After nearly a century of study, a possible explanation is crystallizing.

Illustration for "Brains May Teeter Near Their Tipping Point"

Brains May Teeter Near Their Tipping Point

June 14, 2018

In a renewed attempt at a grand unified theory of brain function, physicists now argue that brains optimize performance by staying near — though not exactly at — the critical point between two phases.

Lede art for "Why Self-Taught Artificial Intelligence Has Trouble With the Real World"
artificial intelligence

Why Artificial Intelligence Like AlphaZero Has Trouble With the Real World

February 21, 2018

The latest artificial intelligence systems start from zero knowledge of a game and grow to world-beating in a matter of hours. But researchers are struggling to apply these systems beyond the arcade.