arXiv: Neural and Evolutionary Computing
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The importance of space and time in neuromorphic cognitive agents.

Publication Date Feb 26, 2019

Abstract

Artificial neural networks and computational neuroscience models have made tremendous progress, allowing computers to achieve impressive results in artificial intelligence (AI) applications, such as image recognition, natural language processing, or autonomous driving. Despite this remarkable progress, biological neural systems consume orders of magnitude less energy than today's artificial neural networks and are much more agile and adaptive. This efficiency and adaptivity gap is partially explained by the computing substrate of biological neural processing systems that is fundamentally different from the way today's computers are built. Biological systems use in-memory computing elements operating in a massively parallel way rather than time-multiplexed computing units that are reused in a sequential fashion. Moreover, activity of biological neurons follows continuous-time dynamics in real, physical time, instead of operating on discrete temporal cycles abstracted away from real-time. Here, we present neuromorphic processing devices that emulate the biological style of processing by using parallel instances of mixed-signal analog/digital circuits that operate in real time. We argue that this approach brings significant advantages in efficiency of computation. We show examples of embodied neuromorphic agents that use such devices to interact with the environment and exhibit autonomous learning.

Concepts
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Biological Systems
Computational Neuroscience Models
Biological Neural Systems
Continuous-time Dynamics
Today's Computers
Parallel Way
Natural Language Processing
Artificial Neural Networks
Image Recognition
Neural Computational Models

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