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Neural Differential Equations for Learning to Program Neural Nets Through Continuous Learning Rules
Kazuki Irie · Francesco Faccio · Jürgen Schmidhuber

Wed Nov 30 02:00 PM -- 04:00 PM (PST) @ Hall J #932

Neural ordinary differential equations (ODEs) have attracted much attention as continuous-time counterparts of deep residual neural networks (NNs), and numerous extensions for recurrent NNs have been proposed. Since the 1980s, ODEs have also been used to derive theoretical results for NN learning rules, e.g., the famous connection between Oja's rule and principal component analysis. Such rules are typically expressed as additive iterative update processes which have straightforward ODE counterparts. Here we introduce a novel combination of learning rules and Neural ODEs to build continuous-time sequence processing nets that learn to manipulate short-term memory in rapidly changing synaptic connections of other nets. This yields continuous-time counterparts of Fast Weight Programmers and linear Transformers. Our novel models outperform the best existing Neural Controlled Differential Equation based models on various time series classification tasks, while also addressing their fundamental scalability limitations. Our code is public.

Author Information

Kazuki Irie (Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA (USI & SUPSI))
Francesco Faccio (The Swiss AI Lab IDSIA, KAUST AI Initiative)
Jürgen Schmidhuber (Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA (USI & SUPSI); NNAISENSE; KAUST)

Since age 15 or so, the main goal of professor Jürgen Schmidhuber has been to build a self-improving Artificial Intelligence (AI) smarter than himself, then retire. His lab's Deep Learning Neural Networks based on ideas published in the "Annus Mirabilis" 1990-1991 have revolutionised machine learning and AI. By the mid 2010s, they were on 3 billion devices, and used billions of times per day through users of the world's most valuable public companies, e.g., for greatly improved (CTC-LSTM-based) speech recognition on all Android phones, greatly improved machine translation through Google Translate and Facebook (over 4 billion LSTM-based translations per day), Apple's Siri and Quicktype on all iPhones, the answers of Amazon's Alexa, and numerous other applications. In 2011, his team was the first to win official computer vision contests through deep neural nets, with superhuman performance. In 2012, they had the first deep NN to win a medical imaging contest (on cancer detection). All of this attracted enormous interest from industry. His research group also established the fields of mathematically rigorous universal AI and recursive self-improvement in metalearning machines that learn to learn (since 1987). In 1990, he introduced unsupervised adversarial neural networks that fight each other in a minimax game to achieve artificial curiosity (GANs are a special case). In 1991, he introduced very deep learning through unsupervised pre-training, and neural fast weight programmers formally equivalent to what's now called linear Transformers. His formal theory of creativity & curiosity & fun explains art, science, music, and humor. He also generalized algorithmic information theory and the many-worlds theory of physics, and introduced the concept of Low-Complexity Art, the information age's extreme form of minimal art. He is recipient of numerous awards, author of over 350 peer-reviewed papers, and Chief Scientist of the company NNAISENSE, which aims at building the first practical general purpose AI. He is a frequent keynote speaker, and advising various governments on AI strategies.

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