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Intelligence platform at AI conference

10 December 2004

AUT to launch artificial Intelligence platform at AI conference

Far from taking over the world, an artificial intelligence (AI) system to be launched next week will help businesses and researchers do their job more efficiently, say developers.

While motion pictures like The Matrix and Terminator series suggest the development of artificial intelligence will result in machines taking over the world, Professor Nik Kasabov, Director of AUT’s Knowledge Engineering and Discovery Research Institute (KEDRI) and Neuro-computing and Evolving Intelligence (NCEI) conference 2004 chair, says this could not be further from the truth.

“AI is still in its infancy but it will become an increasingly important tool for researchers and businesses across a wide variety of disciplines. As these systems evolve they will become more and more useful.”

The software platform NeuCom2004 (NeuroComputing Environment for Evolving Intelligence), which has been developed by KEDRI, will be launched for commercial and educational use at the NCEI 2004, 13-15 December at AUT’s Technology Park in Penrose.

Professor Kasabov says NeuCom2004 can be classified as an evolving intelligence (EI) system.

“Evolving intelligence means AI with a special set of features. EI systems evolve their structure and functionality. They learn and improve incrementally starting with little knowledge and develop over time. It is not difficult to guess that the human brain is the most sophisticated EI system.” Based on the theory and the methods of evolving connectionist systems developed by Professor Kasabov and his team, Neucom is made up of modules of evolving connectionist systems (ECOS) and some of these are already being used.


“A robot soccer team from Singapore Polytechnic, which won one gold and two silver medals at the World Soccer Robocup in Seoul 2004, uses ECOS modules from NeuCom to make the ‘brains’ of the robots, that are now adaptive. The robot team starts a game with a certain strategy in mind but adapts continuously and incrementally during the game from the opponents' actions and in the end the team plays better and wins. Before ECOS, the robots were pre-programmed [hard-wired] and in 2003 performed quite poorly in the competition,” says Professor Kasabov.

A renal function evaluation system that has been accepted for publication in the journal Kidney International next year uses ECOS to explain why a kidney function of a patient is impaired.

Developed by a team including Dr Qun Song (Auckland University of Technology), Professor Kasabov, Dr Mark Marshall and Maggie Ma from Middlemore Hospital, the system is a good example of the range of applications in which ECOS can be used.

“Our system is always adaptable, trainable on new data and extracts rules that help medical professionals give an accurate, personalised prognosis. We used data from both Australia and New Zealand to make the system specifically applicable to local patients.”

ECOS bring the features of adaptability, explanation and personalisation to the process of diagnosis. “For every new patient, our system creates a unique, personalised model that best predicts the renal function of this person,” says Professor Kasabov.

SIFTWARE, a gene expression data analysis system currently in experimental use by Pacific Edge Biotechnology Ltd, also uses ECOS.

“The systems are protected with patent applications by the KEDRI team and there is significant interest in these systems both in New Zealand and overseas.”

NeuCom is a comprehensive software/hardware environment for the creation of EI systems across applications. It includes more than 60 methods for data analysis, data visualisation, data mining, classification, prediction, optimisation, modelling and rule discovery, decision support, image processing and information integration.

NeuCom runs on all computer platforms under Windows or under Linux. The application of NeuCom has already been planned for teaching and for building intelligent systems in areas such as bioinformatics, medical decision support, business data analysis, adaptive control, horticulture and agriculture.

There will be demonstrations of NeuCom as well as several other EI platforms that are being launched commercially at the 3rd Conference on Neuro-Computing and Evolving Intelligence on 13-15 December at AUT’s Technology Park, Penrose.


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