Game Trains Artificial Intelligence to Map the Brain

I usually write about how computer games help humans to learn.  Today, I write about how humans (while playing games) help computers to learn.  In the process, the humans advance brain science and learn about neurology.  I am one of the 70,000+ who have played eyewire, a game that was created by;

“…scientists at MIT, Eyewire is a browser game that lets players take on the challenge of mapping neural pathways in brains — no scientific background required. By playing, gamers are not only mapping neurons, but also training artificial intelligence algorithms to better understand how to map neurons themselves, what Amy Robinson, Creative Director at Eyewire, calls “augmented intelligence”. The more that gamers play, the better the computers get.”

from Singularity Hub –

By creating a map of all the connected neurons in the brain, we advance understanding and treatment of alzheimer’s, dementia, mood disorders, and other cognitive diseases.  The human connectome has 86 billion connected neurons, so mapping this is impossible for humans to do quickly.  But, by using the Eyewire game, we can quickly teach the Artificial Intelligence software to map our connectome much faster than we could.

So, stop playing Farmville, and start playing a serious game!

Map the brain, save your brain, and learn a little brain science!

The world will be a better place.To play Eyewire click here –

To read the full article by from Singularity Hub click here;


About Gaming and Education

Through my research, I have found that games are a powerful tool for learning for players of all ages. Last year I earned my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Azusa Pacific University. My dissertation was entitled - Higher Order Thinking Skills in Digital Games. I have presented my research at the annual convention of the California Educational Research Association. In addition to teaching, I assist other researchers who are working in the field of games and Learning.

Posted on July 16, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. How can we be sure that he real intention of these games are not for education but to manipulate our behavior?

    • We can be sure that the scientists at MIT want more people to play the game so they can train their AI software to map the connectome more quickly. In this narrow way, they do want to “manipulate our behavior”. In the near term, they want to advance our understanding and treatment of alzheimer’s, dementia, mood disorders, and other cognitive diseases. Perhaps in the more distant future others might be able to use the knowledge from the human connectome for “other purposes”. We can always use knowledge for good or ill – and we do – but, this is no reason to stop expanding human knowledge.
      I agree with what Kevin Kelly said;
      “I am optimistic because I think that while disease, illness, stupidity, wickedness, problems, and evil fill 49% of the world, health, wisdom, light and goodness fill 51% — and that tiny 2% difference compounded over time is what makes civilization…”
      To hear a short NPR interview in which he explains this 2% optimism click here;

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