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As we reach new breakthroughs in technology, we begin to look at the most complicated and intelligent computer we know in existence for inspiration: the human brain. This night looks at how we are using the brain to improve technology, teach machines to learn, and also use new technologies to discover more about ourselves. "I Have a Dream" looks at taking science-fiction into reality!
Connecting Humans and Machines
Joshua Podmore (Research Postgraduate in the Department of Psychology)
Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) decode brain activity and translate this data into commands for assistive devices. At present BCI research is focused on developing devices to restore functions such as communication and mobility to quadriplegic patient populations (absence of upper and lower limb control). This talk will explore each step in BCI development from: 1) hardware choice, 2) bio-signal selection, 3) analyses pipeline and 4) graphic user interface. Finally, I will discuss the obstacles to using BCIs for performance enhancement in healthy individuals and suggest how to overcome them.
Teaching a Robot to Learn
William Prew (PhD student, Psychology, Durham University)
Programs coded by humans perform very well at certain tasks that can follow a set of instructions. However, some tasks are notoriously difficult to teach robots. Distinguishing an image of a cat and a dog is difficult to describe to robots, but can be easily solved by two-year-old humans. Within recent history, research has shifted away from telling robots how to think and towards teaching robots how to learn like us by using "Neural Networks". Come learn more about the most exciting recent advancement in computer science and its many applications inspired by neuroscience itself.