Tackling “Self Awareness” in AI with Groundbreaking Research at Ulster University

Advances in A.I. are continuing to have significant impacts on this growing field. One significant recent advancement has been made through research conducted at the University of Ulster.

A.I. systems encompass machine learning techniques and powerful computational resources to create predictive models through the processing of complex and large data. However, one critical component which they lack is essential to human intelligence and effective decision making: self-awareness.

At the Intelligent Systems Research Centre (ISRC) at Ulster University’s Magee campus, pioneering research on biologically-inspired algorithms have been advancing beyond standard A.I. algorithms. Specifically, this exciting new work in Computational Neuroscience has shown for the first time that neural network models can be equipped with metacognition or self-awareness of their own actions and choices. The computer model can not only mimic brain activity observed in humans and some animals, but also replicate change-of-mind and error correction behaviour, which require “on-the-fly” metacognitive processing.

This research has recently been published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications and can be viewed here.

These findings could also impact human health by helping form the basis towards understanding brain disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder and addiction. In these instances metacognitive abilities can be impaired (linking computation neuroscience to psychiatry resulting in Computational Psychiatry.)

Researchers on this project include Dr KongFatt Wong-Lin, Mr. Nadim Atiya,  Prof. Girijesh Prasad and Dr. Iñaki Rañó, both from the ISRC. (Dr. Rañó is currently at the University of Southern Denmark.)

If you would like to find out more about how to be part of the groundbreaking research which takes place at Ulster and are interested in applying from Canada, please contact Barclay Educational Services. Barclay is a recognized Canadian agent of Ulster University. As such, there is no charge to students for our assistance. The University pays our fee. Contact Jackie at JSB@barclayedu.com