BI Insights

An Old Technique Could Put Artificial Intelligence In Your Hearing Aid

27 November, 2017

An Old Technique Could Put Artificial Intelligence In Your Hearing Aid

Dag Spicer is expecting a special package soon, but it’s not a Black Friday impulse buy. The fist-sized motor, greened by corrosion, is from a historic room-sized computer intended to ape the human brain. It may also point toward artificial intelligence’s future.

Spicer is senior curator at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The motor in the mail is from the Mark 1 Perceptron, built by Cornell researcher Frank Rosenblatt in 1958. Rosenblatt’s machine learned to distinguish shapes such as triangles and squares seen through its camera. When shown examples of different shapes, it built “knowledge” using its 512 motors to turn knobs and tune its connections. “It was a major milestone,” says Spicer.

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