Numenta, harbinger of the second AI boom

Numenta is an intriguing new startup that plans to commercialize technology based a model of human memory developed by Jeff Hawkins, he of Palm Pilot and Graffiti fame, in his book On Intelligence (see also the book’s website).

According to the website:

Numenta co-founder Dileep George has created a mathematical formalism that follows and extends Hawkins’ biological theory. This formalism is a variation of Belief Propagation, a mathematical technique invented by Judea Pearl. Belief propagation explains how a tree of conditional probability functions can reach a set of mutually consistent beliefs about the world. By adding time and sequence memory to each node of the tree, belief propagation can be morphed to match Hawkins’ biological theory.

We may be seeing the very beginning of a second “AI” boom, one rooted this time in actual neurobiological research, or at least in models inspired by, or plausibly informed by, schemes of brain functioning.

Leave a Reply