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AI Sheds Light on How the Brain Processes Language

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientists find the internal workings of next-word prediction models resemble those of language-processing centers in the brain.

Credit: Christine Daniloff, MIT

Research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) neuroscientists suggests the latest predictive language models' underlying mechanism functions similarly to the human brain's language-processing centers.

MIT's Nancy Kanwisher said, "The better the model is at predicting the next word, the more closely it fits the human brain."

Computer models that perform well on other language tasks do not exhibit this resemblance, implying the brain may drive language processing using next-word prediction.

Stanford University's Daniel Yamins said, "Since the AI [artificial intelligence] network didn't seek to mimic the brain directly—but does end up looking brain-like—this suggests that, in a sense, a kind of convergent evolution has occurred between AI and nature."

From MIT News
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