One of the great challenges of neuroscience is to understand the short-term working memory in the human brain. At the same time, computer scientists would dearly love to reproduce the same kind of memory in silico.
Today, Google’s secretive DeepMind startup, which it bought for $400 million earlier this year, unveils a prototype computer that attempts to mimic some of the properties of the human brain’s short-term working memory.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1410.5401 - Neural Turing Machines
We extend the capabilities of neural networks by coupling them to external memory resources, which they can interact with by attentional processes. The combined system is analogous to a Turing Machine or Von Neumann architecture but is differentiable end-to-end, allowing it to be efficiently trained with gradient descent. Preliminary results demonstrate that Neural Turing Machines can infer simple algorithms such as copying, sorting, and associative recall from input and output examples.