EmTech MIT, Research Highlights and More | October 2021

Christy Maver • VP of Marketing

In this month’s newsletter, I’m pleased to share some event highlights, new research resources and podcasts for those interested in learning more about Numenta’s scientific breakthroughs and how we’re applying them to our brain-inspired machine learning efforts.

EmTech MIT 2021:Fireside Chat with Jeff on Building a Better AI

🎥 Credit: MIT Technology Review’s EmTech MIT Conference

Our co-founder Jeff Hawkins recently kicked off Day 2 of MIT Technology Review’s flagship event, the EmTech Virtual Conference. With the theme of “AI as a Global Disruptor” as the backdrop, he had a fascinating conversation with Will Douglas Heaven, MIT Tech Review’s Senior Editor for AI, about how to build a better AI with a neuroscience-based approach. Will Douglas has referred to Jeff as “one of the most interesting and provocative (in a v good way) voices in AI.” Their live conversation marked the second time this year the two had a chance to discuss the topic. You can read the Q&A from earlier this year where they discussed Numenta’s research into humans brains and what it means for machine intelligence.

Click here to watch Jeff’s MIT EmTech Session


Thousand Brains Theory Research Highlights: the Fundamentals and the Future

In our recent research meetings, Subutai and Jeff have done a series of deep dives on key components of the Thousand Brains Theory, as published in our peer-reviewed papers. From active dendrites to voting among cortical columns to sensorimotor modeling, the presentations on these topics provide an overview of our work to date, as well as new ideas that the team is exploring.

🧠 How Active Dendrites Enable Prediction and Context Integration in Neurons (Video)
Our VP of Research and Engineering Subutai Ahmad reviewed the biology behind active dendrites and explained how Numenta models them.

🧠 Voting in the Thousand Brains Theory (Part One / Part Two)
Subutai discussed the meaning of cortical columns and explained how inference is much faster when columns vote.

🧠 Object Modeling in the Thousand Brains Theory (Part One / Part Two)
Jeff looked at the overall theory and discussed what we need for sensorimotor modeling. He shared new ideas about how we model objects, how cells represent location and orientation of sensors and how columns detect movements and path integration.


The International Podcast Tour: From Machine Learning to Space and Social Science

Jeff had a busy September appearing on several different podcasts around the globe. He was a guest on the Machine Learning Street Talk Podcast where he and the hosts (Dr. Tim Scarfe, Connor Leahy, and Dr. Keith Duggar) discussed Numenta’s current machine learning work and how the Thousand Brains Theory influences the machine learning space.

This 2.5-hour podcast is offered in both audio and video format, and we highly recommend the video experience. The episode is split into three parts. Tim starts with a detailed 50-min introduction explaining our work and research journey at Numenta. He intersperses quotes from A Thousand Brains, quotes from other researchers and his personal beliefs. The next hour-plus is the interview with Jeff where they dove into the more technical details. The show wraps up with a 20-min debrief among the 3 hosts where they give their candid thoughts.

Jeff also appeared on Indian Genes and the Chatter Podcast. In both podcasts, Jeff translated the ideas of the Thousand Brains Theory into easily digestible information for anyone curious about how the brain works. To see his latest appearances, check out our Select Media Coverage page.


Conversation on A Thousand Brains and Behavioral Modification

Can the ideas from A Thousand Brains help us understand how we shape behavior? In the third episode of our video series ‘Conversations on A Thousand Brains’, Jeff talked to Jennifer Hancock, founder and owner of Humanist Learning Systems. Jennifer shared how the book has helped her better understand her area of expertise on behavioral modification, including how it relates to operant conditioning and her experience with training dolphins.

The “Conversations” series is designed to engage people from various fields about how the ideas in A Thousand Brains may impact their area of expertise. We’ve covered pedagogy and economic policy in past episodes. Do you have any guests you’d like to see on this series? Send your feedback or suggestions to press@numenta.com.


Upcoming Conference: AI DevWorld – October 26 – 28, 2021

Our Director of Machine Learning Architecture Lawrence Spracklen will be speaking at AI Dev World on October 27th, 1PM PDT. In his talk “Skip the Zeros – Increase Your Deep Network Performance by Over 10x,” he will be talking about how Numenta’s sparse networks and algorithms unlock the full potential of brain sparsity on current hardware platforms. You can register for the virtual conference here.


We’re Hiring!

We’re looking for people to join our team! Check out our job openings below:

If you know anyone who might be a good fit, send them our way!


Thank you for your continued interest in Numenta. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any updates.

Christy Maver
VP of Marketing

Christy Maver • VP of Marketing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *