New Algorithm that outperforms Deep Learning

Deep Learning is blooming and with it, all kinds of unthought applications have been sprung to life. Every tech company is trying to implement a form of AI in their businesses in some way or the other. Neural networks, after all, have begun to outperform humans in tasks such as object and face recognition and in games such as chess, Go, and various arcade video games. And as we all know, Deep Learning is a manifestation of the human brain and has tremendous potential.

However, An entirely different type of computing has the potential to be significantly more powerful than neural networks and deep learning. This technique is based on the process that created the human brain—evolution. In other words, a sequence of iterative change and selection that produced the most complex and capable machines known to humankind—the eye, the wing, the brain, and so on. The power of evolution is a wonder to behold.




Evolutionary computing is completely unlike Deep Learning. The conventional way to create code is to write it from first principles with a specific goal in mind. Evolutionary computing uses a different approach. It starts with code generated entirely at random. And not just one version of it, but lots of versions, sometimes hundreds of thousands of randomly assembled pieces of code, and each of these codes have been tested to check whether the end goal is achieved. As a result, a lot of code is generated. But just by chance, some pieces of code are a little better than others. These pieces are then reproduced in a new generation of code, which includes more copies of the better codes.

However, the next generation cannot be an identical copy of the first. Instead, it must change in some way. These changes can involve switching two terms in the code—a kind of point mutation. Or they can involve two codes that are cut in half and the halves exchanged—like sexual recombination.

Each of the new generations is then tested to see how well it works. The best pieces of code are preferentially reproduced in another generation, and so on. In this way, the code evolves. Over time, it becomes better, and after many generations, if conditions are right, it can become better than any human coder can design.


via: MitTechReview, Medium

Smelling illness in human breath using AI

Researchers from Loughborough University, Western General Hospital, the University of Edinburgh, and the Edinburgh Cancer Centre in the United Kingdom, recently developed a deep learning-based method that can analyze compounds in the human breath and detect illnesses, including cancer, with better than-human average performance.

The sense of smell is used by animals and even plants to identify hundreds of different substances that float in the air. But compared to that of other animals, the human sense of smell is far less developed and certainly not used to carry out daily activities. For this reason, humans aren’t particularly aware of the richness of information that can be transmitted through the air and can be perceived by a highly sensitive olfactory system. AI may be about to change that.

Using NVIDIA Tesla GPUs and the cuDNN-accelerated Keras, and TensorFlow deep learning frameworks, the team trained their neural network on data from participants with different types of cancer receiving radiotherapy, said researcher Angelika Skarysz, a Ph.D. research student at Loughborough University. To increase the neural network’s efficiency, the team increased the original training data by using data augmentation. The convolutional neural network was augmented 100 times, the team said.



“A team of doctors, nurses, radiographers and medical physicists at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre collected breath samples from participants undergoing cancer treatment. The samples were then analyzed by two teams of chemists and computer scientists. Once a number of compounds were identified manually by the chemists, fast computers were given the data to train deep learning networks. The computation was accelerated by special devices, called GPUs, that can process multiple different pieces of information at the same time. The deep learning networks learned more and more from each breath sample until they could recognize specific patterns that revealed specific compounds in the breath” as posted by Andrea Soltoggio on The Conversation.


3D view of a portion of breath sample data

“Computers equipped with this technology only take minutes to autonomously analyze a breath sample that previously took hours by a human expert,” Soltoggio said. AI is making the whole process cheaper – but above all, it is making it more reliable.

Link to the paper: ResearchGate

(Via: ResearchGate, The Conversation, NVidia)


Using AI to see through walls

MIT’s new AI can now see through walls. MIT has given a computer x-ray vision, but it didn’t need x-rays to do it. The system, known as RF-Pose, uses a neural network and radio signals to track people through an environment and generate wireframe models in real time. It doesn’t even need to have a direct line of sight to know how someone is walking, sitting, or waving their arms on the other side of a wall.


Using wireless signals, RF-Pose could serve as a healthcare system to monitor patients’ movements from the other side of a wall. Source: MIT CSAIL

The MIT researchers decided to collect examples of people walking with both wireless signal pings and cameras. The camera footage was processed to generate stick figures in place of the people, and the team matched that data up with the radio waves. That combined data is what researchers used to train the neural network. With a strong association between the stick figures and RF data, the system is able to create stick figures based on radio wave reflections. One idea is to use the system to monitor those who might be at risk of a fall—a sick or elderly person, say.

Here’s the video which might help in comprehending the topic more.

Sources: MitTechReview, Extremetech, Popular Science

The World’s fastest Supercomputer – Summit

The US is again the home to the world’s fastest supercomputer – the Summit. For five years, China had the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight. But the United States retook the lead thanks to a machine, called Summit, built for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.


Summit – The machine’s 4,608 servers and associated gear fill the space of two tennis courts and weigh more than a large commercial aircraft.


The Summit’s theoretical peak speed is 200 petaflops or 200,000 teraflops. To put that in human terms, approximately 6.3 billion people would all have to make a calculation at the same time, every second, for an entire year, to match what Summit can do in just one second. For certain scientific applications, Summit will also be capable of more than three billion-billion mixed precision calculations per second. Summit will provide unprecedented computing power for research in energy, advanced materials, and artificial intelligence (AI), among other domains. Summit will enable scientific discoveries that were previously impractical or impossible.

Summit is 60 percent faster than the previous supercomputing leader, the Sunway TaihuLight based in the Chinese city of Wuxi. However, China still has the world’s most supercomputers overall. And China, Japan, and Europe are developing machines that are even faster, which could mean the American lead is short-lived. As of now, Summit’s computing capacity is so powerful that it has the ability to compute 30 years’ worth of data saved on a desktop computer in just one hour. These capabilities mark a huge increase in computing efficiency that will revolutionize the future of American science.


(source: The New York Times, MitTechReview, Quartz, Wired,



AI to detect Wrist Fractures

Imagen’s OsteoDetect, an AI-based diagnostic tool that can quickly detect distal radius wrist fractures. Its machine learning algorithm studies 2D X-rays for the telltale signs of fractures and marks them for closer study. It’s not a replacement for doctors or clinicians, the FDA stressed — rather, it’s to improve their detection and get the right treatment that much sooner.

OsteoDetect uses AI software to analyze two-dimensional x-ray images for distal radius fracture. The software, intended as an adjunct to clinician judgment, marks the fracture location on posterior-anterior and medial-lateral x-ray images. The company submitted a retrospective study of 1,000 radiograph images that assessed the independent performance of the image analysis algorithm for detecting wrist fractures and the accuracy of the fracture localization of OsteoDetect against the performance of three board certified orthopedic hand surgeons. Imagen also submitted a retrospective study of 24 providers who reviewed 200 patient cases. Both studies demonstrated that the readers’ performance in detecting wrist fractures was improved using the software, including increased sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, when aided by OsteoDetect, as compared with their unaided performance according to standard clinical practice.

Blockchain Disruptions

With the recent disruptions happening around in Blockchain, the rise and fall of bitcoins left people quite perplexed and uncertain. However, a majority of the experts believe that blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt every major industry out there right now. To summarize in a cogent manner, an infographic has been made by the folks at Bitfortune and all the credit for making this meticulous infographic goes to them! This infographic will help you understand how the blockchain technology can and will improve 16 different industries, from music to government. So, read on and find out what their future will look like.


via Bitfortune

Inside the mind of a Neural Network

Neural networks, which learn to perform tasks such as including speech-recognition, automatic-translation systems, image recognition systems and time series prediction by analyzing huge sets of training data, have been responsible for the most impressive recent advances in artificial intelligence.

During training, however, a neural net continually adjusts its internal settings in ways that even its creators can’t interpret. Much recent work in computer science has focused on clever techniques for determining just how neural nets do what they do. Neural nets are so named because they roughly approximate the structure of the human brain. Typically, they’re arranged into layers, and each layer consists of many simple processing units — nodes — each of which is connected to several nodes in the layers above and below. Data are fed into the lowest layer, whose nodes process it and pass it to the next layer. The connections between layers have different “weights,” which determine how much the output of any one node figures into the calculation performed by the next.

In the case of the speech recognition network, Belinkov and Glass used individual layers’ outputs to train a system to identify “phones,” distinct phonetic units particular to a spoken language. The “t” sounds in the words “tea,” “tree,” and “but,” for instance, might be classified as separate phones, but a speech recognition system has to transcribe all of them using the letter “t.” And indeed, Belinkov and Glass found that lower levels of the network were better at recognizing phones than higher levels, where, presumably, the distinction is less important [MIT].

An important part of the neural network is forgetting. An ANN must know, which part to forget and which part not to. The basic algorithm used in the majority of deep-learning procedures to tweak neural connections in response to data is called “stochastic gradient descent”: Each time the training data are fed into the network, a cascade of firing activity sweeps upward through the layers of artificial neurons. When the signal reaches the top layer, the final firing pattern can be compared to the correct label for the image—1 or 0, “dog” or “no dog.” Any differences between this firing pattern and the correct pattern are “back-propagated” down the layers, meaning that, like a teacher correcting an exam, the algorithm strengthens or weakens each connection to make the network layer better at producing the correct output signal. Over the course of training, common patterns in the training data become reflected in the strengths of the connections, and the network becomes expert at correctly labeling the data, such as by recognizing a dog, a word, or a 1.



sources: MIT blog, Wired, arxiv

AI creates Cartoons from Text

Animation as well know is a great source of entertainment and is difficult to create and stitch them together. It is now possible to stitch cartoons with the help of AI. The researchers at the Allen Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, have managed to develop an AI called Craft (Composition, Retrieval, and Fusion Network), which does some part of the tedious work. The AI creates scenes from text descriptions. The AI system, Craft was able to recreate the Flintstones cartoon, by being trained on 25000 3 second clips and a brief text description of that scene.

The AI works by matching the videos to the brief word-descriptions and builds a set of parameters. Craft can convert the provided text descriptions into video clips and animated series. It can not only put the characters into place but also parse objects, retrieve the background, etc.


The results are still raw in nature, and there is a lot of scope for improving the model and training it on other cartoons. The video below briefly describes how the AI works.

For detailed information, refer the paper.

SqueezeNext – Hardware Aware Neural Network Design

Berkeley researchers have published ‘SqueeseNext’, the successor to SqueezeNet, in their latest attempt to distill the capabilities of very large neural networks into smaller models that can feasibly be deployed on devices with small memory and compute capabilities, like mobile phones. One of the main barriers for deploying neural networks on embedded systems has been large memory and power consumption of existing neural networks. While much of the research into AI systems today is based around getting state-of-the-art results on specific datasets, SqueezeNext is part of a parallel track focused on making systems deployable.

Need for SqueezeNext?

The transition to Deep Neural Network based solutions started with AlexNet, which won the ImageNet challenge by a large margin. The ImageNet classification challenge started in 2010 with the first winning method achieving an error rate of 28.2%, followed by 26.2% in 2011. However, a clear improvement in accuracy was achieved by AlexNet with an error rate of 16.4%, a 10% margin with the runner-up. AlexNet consists of five convolutional, and three fully connected layers. The network contains a total of 61 million parameters. Due to this large size of the network, the original model had to be trained on two GPUs with a model parallel approach, where the filters were distributed to these GPUs. Moreover, dropout was required to avoid overfitting using such a large model size. These model sizes have millions of parameters and are not suitable for real-time applications!

SqueezeNet is a successful example which achieves AlexNet’s accuracy with 50× fewer parameters without compression and 500× smaller with deep compression. SqueezeNext is efficient because of a few design strategies: low-rank filters; a bottleneck filter to constrain the parameter count of the network; using a single fully connected layer following a bottleneck; weight and output stationary; and co-designing the network in tandem with a hardware simulator to maximize hardware usage efficiency.

The resulting SqueezeNext network is a neural network with 112X fewer model parameters than those found in AlexNet. They also develop a version of the network whose performance approaches that of VGG-19 (which did well in ImageNet 2014). The researchers also design an even more efficient network by carefully tuning model design in parallel with a hardware simulator, ultimately designing a model that is significantly faster and more energy efficient than a widely used compressed network called SqueezeNet.


(via: SquezeeNext)


Deep Reinforcement Learning and Q-Learning

Deep Learning  (neural networks) are used to achieve the state of the result for image recognition, computer vision, machine translation, etc,. Reinforcement learning refers to goal-oriented algorithms, which learn how to attain a complex objective (goal) or maximize along a particular dimension over many steps; for example, maximize the points won in a game over many moves. They can start with a blank slate, and under the right conditions, they achieve superhuman performance. Like a child incentivized by spankings and candy, these algorithms are penalized when they make the wrong decisions and rewarded when they make the right ones – this is reinforcement.

Like a human, agents learn for themselves to achieve successful strategies that lead to the greatest long-term rewards. This paradigm of learning by trial-and-error, solely from rewards or punishments, is known as reinforcement learning (RL). Reinforcement algorithms that incorporate deep learning can beat world champions at the game of Go as well as human experts playing numerous Atari video games. While that may sound trivial, it’s a vast improvement over their previous accomplishments, and the state of the art is progressing rapidly.

Reinforcement learning solves the difficult problem of correlating immediate actions with the delayed returns they produce. Like humans, reinforcement learning algorithms sometimes have to wait a while to see the fruit of their decisions. They operate in a delayed return environment, where it can be difficult to understand which action leads to which outcome over many time steps.

Q – Learning

Q-learning is a model-free reinforcement learning technique. It is able to compare the expected utility of the available actions (for a given state) without requiring a model of the environment. Additionally, Q-learning can handle problems with stochastic transitions and rewards, without requiring adaptations. It has been proven that for any finite Markov decision process (MDP), Markov decision processes (MDPs) provide a mathematical framework for modeling decision making in situations where outcomes are partly random and partly under the control of a decision maker. MDPs are useful for studying a wide range of optimization problems solved via dynamic programming and reinforcement learning. Q-learning eventually finds an optimal policy, in the sense that the expected value of the total reward return over all successive steps, starting from the current state, is the maximum achievable.


(via Wiki, GoogleDeepmind Blog, DeepLearning4j, IntelAI)