Computers will soon analogize—like humans

Analogies help people understand things. Examples include such clarity as: hard drives are like closets, and defragmenting a hard drive is like cleaning a closet. They’re popular, and work for humans, but scientists are now asking whether the comparisons could also work for computers as the machines take on new roles that involve learning. Scientists at Northwestern University think so. Computers, too, will learn through analogies, they believe. Indeed, future computers are going to learn just like humans do, and that will include spontaneously using analogies to solve problems, including moral dilemmas, they say. And it will be more effective than deep learning—the currently preferred method of teaching computers, the scientists say. Computer deep learning has traditionally been thought of as the direction forward. That’s where machines scrutinize vast amounts…

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