Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Machines learn how to learn

01.12.2015

On 30 November, the Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems was inaugurated in Tübingen

For humans, and for animals in general, it is normal; but machines have first to learn it: how to learn. To assist them in this process, the Max Planck Society and the ETH Zurich have set up the Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems. The researchers at the Center want to understand what the principles of learning are - in theory as well as in real machines. They want to get robots to act autonomously in an unknown, complex environment, among other things.


© Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

The Center is an essential element in the development of the research field of learning and intelligent systems in Baden-Württemberg. On the basis of their cooperation, the MPG and the ETH provide scientific and personnel synergies and ensure that European research in this field remains competitive worldwide," said Max Planck President Martin Stratmann with a view to the inauguration ceremony on 30 November in Tübingen.

Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Science, Research and the Arts, Theresia Bauer, the Swiss ambassador Christine Schraner Burgener, Max Planck President Martin Stratmann as well as ETH President Lino Guzzella were expected to attend.

Robots as disaster relief workers could save human rescue teams from having to undertake dangerous operations. And as nursing assistants they could help to cope with the problems of an ageing society with more and more people needing assistance. It will be a few years yet before they are able to undertake such tasks, however.

After all, two-legged robots today cannot move autonomously across an uneven floor – their motoric skills do not adapt quickly enough to unfamiliar terrain. If the machines learned as well as insects, not to mention human beings, a rocky path at least would no longer present a problem. The Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems aims to equip them with this ability to learn.

“We not only want to solve application problems, such as teaching a two-legged robot how to move on uneven ground,” says Bernhard Schölkopf, a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen and one of two Co-Directors of the Center in addition to Thomas Hofmann from ETH Zurich. “We first want to understand what constitutes the intelligence of living beings which enables them to organize perception, learning and action and to act successfully in a complex environment.”

Artificial systems should learn like living beings

The researchers then want to use the insights from these fundamental investigations to further develop the methods of machine learning. These methods are already in use today to detect statistical regularities in large sets of data. But they are always limited to specific tasks. A method for reliably recognizing faces on images, for example, does not help a robot to practise moving steadily over any type of terrain.

“The learning ability of humans in particular is largely independent of the specific task, in contrast,” explains Schölkopf. “If we have a better understanding of how what has been learned can be transferred to different tasks, we could possibly develop artificial systems which learn like living beings.”

The general principles of learning should then not only impart intelligence to robots, but also to the software which analyzes large volumes of data, for example. Computers should no longer determine only statistical relationships in large sets of data, but also causal ones. They should autonomously estimate the effect of genetic modifications in data about the genetic code or protein interactions; these are causal relationships about which even medical professionals still have no knowledge to date.

The Max Planck ETH Center, which is the home of the collaboration between researchers from Tübingen, Stuttgart and Zürich, builds on an existing cooperation between the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the ETH Zurich in the field of machine learning. Its objectives are not only scientific collaboration, but also the joint use of research infrastructure and the training of doctoral students. Joint summer schools and workshops will be organized via the Center. The Center will receive total funding of five million euros in the first five years, and this will be contributed equally by the Max Planck Society and the ETH Zurich.

Contact

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schölkopf
Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen site, Tübingen
Phone: +49 7071 601-551

Fax: +49 7071 601-552

Email: bernhard.schoelkopf@tuebingen.mpg.de

 
Claudia Däfler
Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart site, Stuttgart
Phone: +49 711 689-3094

Fax: +49 711 689-1932

Email: daefler@mg.mpg.de


Jens Eschert
Press and Public Relations

Administrative Headquarters of the Max Planck Society, München
Phone: +49 89 2108-1488

Email: eschert@gv.mpg.de

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schölkopf | Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen site, Tübingen

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions
12.12.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht NIST's antenna evaluation method could help boost 5G network capacity and cut costs
11.12.2018 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>