University of Illinois Graduate Vishnu Nath Kamalnath Receives the Hind Rattan award for Work on Artificial Intelligence

September 16, 2014 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
September 16, 2014 - Microsoft software engineer, and recent University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate, Vishnu Nath Kamalnath has been awarded the honor of the Hind Rattan award, one of the highest awards granted to non-resident Indian citizens, for his work in artificial intelligence.
  • Vishnu developed a humanoid robot built to mimic the cognitive growth functions of a three-year-old.</li> What makes this robot so unique is its ability to achieve tasks using learning from the environment, and not by programming. This robot, called the iCub, can even solve puzzles and move his arms and shoot targets accurately with Nerf guns.

    Kamalnath explains his attempt to bridge the gap between strong and weak Artificial Intelligence to bring machines closer to displaying human-like consciousness. "Weak AI is the part where you use AI for simple, practical purposes like credit card fraud detection," Kamalnath said. "Strong AI is a purely academic field right now. The difference is that it encompasses everything that weak AI does, but it also has what we call 'consciousness.'"

    Although no one has come close to creating strong AI, Kamalnath has tried to move in that direction with Bert using something he calls "deep learning." Because of this, Bert understands his impact on its environment. When solving puzzles, it can assess different possibilities and learn from its actions.

    The twenty-four-year-old engineer has also been awarded the honor of senior member for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), one of the world's most esteemed organizations for electrical, computer, and electronic engineers. Its youngest member at age 23, Kamalnath has ten years of experience under his belt and has shown significant growth and success in the last five. The company he started at age 14, in Dubai, helped him meet the requirement for his impressive ranking with the IEEE.

    In the future, Kamalnath says he plans, "to integrate more of the five senses humans have to see how far it affects the learning." In addition to this, he said he hopes AI will grow in consciousness, not only with deep learning, but also in public consciousness. "AI should be a lot more visible and shouldn't just be associated with terminators," Kamalnath said. "Things like this will slowly start having a lot more mainstream effect on the public, that's what I see the future of AI going toward."
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