Tidying up deep neural networks [McGovern Institute]

connected bright lines forming a brain
January 15, 2020

by Sabbi Lall

Visual art has found many ways of representing objects, from the ornate Baroque period to modernist simplicity. Artificial visual systems are somewhat analogous: from relatively simple beginnings inspired by key regions in the visual cortex, recent advances in performance have seen increasing complexity.

“Our overall goal has been to build an accurate, engineering-level model of the visual system, to ‘reverse engineer’ visual intelligence,” explains James DiCarlo, the head of MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, an investigator in the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines (CBMM). “But very high-performing ANNs have started to drift away from brain architecture, with complex branching architectures that have no clear parallel in the brain.”

A new model from the DiCarlo lab has re-imposed a brain-like architecture on an object recognition network. The result is a shallow-network architecture with surprisingly high performance, indicating that we can simplify deeper– and more baroque– networks yet retain high performance in artificial learning systems.

“We’ve made two major advances,” explains graduate student Martin Schrimpf, who led the work with Jonas Kubilius at CBMM. “We’ve found a way of checking how well models match the brain, called Brain-Score, and developed a model, CORnet, that moves artificial object recognition, as well as machine learning architectures, forward.”

Read the full article on the McGovern Institute's website using the link below.