March 14, 2024 at 9:43 am

Artificial Intelligence Researchers Are Strapping Cameras To Toddlers’ Heads To Collect Data For Their Technology

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

AI has to be fed information in order to reliably spit information back out that’s even close to accurate and varied – like a human would give.

Apparently, we even want it to know what life looks like from the perspective of a human toddler.

Which means, of course, that researchers have build an AI child that needs information on how to behave.

NYU recently announced that its researchers had used footage from an 18-month-old toddler to train an AI model. They say that, despite everything large language models know so far, the toddler’s camera taught the AI “a substantial number of words and concepts.”

What they’re basically saying is that they’re teaching an AI model to learn like a human child does, from the time they’re a baby.

Source: Shutterstock

And that is exactly why many AI-junkies are excited.

The toddler in question is Sam, who lives in Australia with two parents and two cats. Researchers got 61 hours of footage from the project over a year and half of Sam’s life.

“This data set was totally unique. It’s the best window we’ve ever had into what a single child has access to.”

The AI was then able to mimic human cognition by matching words with the objects they represent.

Other researchers are in the midst of similar projects, though they’re more concerned with visual versus language processing.

NYU has gotten millions of dollars in funding from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). They’re very invested in developing AI, and I’m sure you can guess it’s not for any cutesy commercial reason.

Source: Shutterstock

That said, researchers like developmental psychologist Jess Sullivan say there’s a big caveat to this most recent dataset – and that it was given by a relatively unsophisticated human brain.

“I don’t think the study would have worked if babies hadn’t created the data seat that the neural net was learning from.”

Regardless, it’s clear that we’ll stop at nothing to feed the AI machine.

Whether that turns out to be a good or a bad decision remains to be seen.

If you enjoyed that story, check out what happened when a guy gave ChatGPT $100 to make as money as possible, and it turned out exactly how you would expect.