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Photo illustration: Axios Visuals

Geoffrey Hinton, a Google researcher and professor at the University of Toronto, helped pioneer artificial neural networks, the technology behind most of the major advances in machine learning. And now he's come up with a new idea that he thinks is even more powerful.

Hinton calls his latest creation "capsule networks." Each capsule is a group of artificial neurons trained to track a specific feature of an image. Combining them allows an AI system to understand the spatial relations between different features of an image, so it can identify different views of the same image. Hinton has shown that this technique performs much better than existing systems in a challenge to recognize objects from different angles.

Why it matters: To existing neural networks, two images of the same object from different angles look like totally different objects. This means neural networks asked to recognize objects in images need to train on images from many different angles, which requires vast amounts of data. For example, the ImageNet data set, used in the image recognition competition that's been the benchmark for these systems for the last seven years, contains more than 13 million images. The hope is that capsule networks could achieve the same results working from much smaller data sets.

Go deeper

54 mins ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.

Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Belarus dictator Lukashenko says he'll leave post after new constitution

Photo: Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty

Longtime Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said he will step down after a new constitution comes into force, according to Belarusian state media.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has faced three months of protests following a rigged election in August. He has promised to reform the constitution to reduce the near-absolute powers of the president, but has insisted that his strong hand is needed to see that process through.