Special Lecture: Brain Inspired Automated Concept and Object Learning


Department of ECE, Indian Institute of Science

IEEE Bangalore Section

IEEE Signal Processing Society Bangalore Chapter

Welcome you to a 

Special Lecture


Title:  Brain Inspired Automated Concept and Object Learning: Vision, Text, and Beyond

Speakers: Vwani Roychowdhury (UCLA) and 

Thomas Kailath (Stanford) 

Venue: ECE Golden Jubilee Seminar Hall

             Department of  ECE, IISc

Day/ Date: Friday, 6 September 2019

Time: 3-5 pm

High Tea at 5pm


Brains are endowed with innate models that can learn effective informational and reasoning prototypes of the various objects and concepts in the real world around us. A distinctive hallmark of the brain, for example, is its ability to automatically discover and model objects, at multi-scale resolutions, from repeated exposures to unlabeled contextual data and then to be able to robustly detect the learned objects under various non-ideal circumstances, such as partial occlusion and different view angles. Replication of such capabilities in a machine would require three key ingredients: (i) access to large-scale perceptual data of the kind that humans experience, (ii) flexible representations of objects, and (iii) an efficient unsupervised learning algorithm. The Internet fortunately provides unprecedented access to vast amounts of visual data. The first part of this work will focus on our recent work that leverages the availability of such data to develop a scalable framework for unsupervised learning of object prototypes—brain-inspired flexible, scale, and shift invariant representations of deformable objects (e.g., humans, motorcycles, cars, airplanes) composed of parts, their different configurations and views, and their spatial relationships. We apply our framework to various datasets and show that our approach is computationally scalable and can construct accurate and operational part-aware object models much more efficiently than in much of the recent computer vision literature. We also present efficient algorithms for detection and localization in new scenes of objects and their partial views. The second part of this work will focus on processing large scale textual data, wherein our algorithms can create semantic concept-level maps from unstructured data sets. Finally we will conclude with the outlines of a general framework of contextual unsupervised learning that can remove many of the scalability and robustness limitations of existing supervised frameworks that require large amounts of labeled training sets and mostly act as impressive memorization engines. 

Short Bio:

Vwani Roychowdhury is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCLA and received his BTech and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur and Stanford University, respectively. Prof. Roychowdhury’s expertise lies in combining tools from a number of disciplines, including computer science, engineering, information theory, mathematics, and physics, and solving fundamental problems in multiple disciplines. His research interests have spanned a diverse set of topics related to combinatorics and theoretical computer science, Artificial Neural Networks, nanoelectronics and device modeling, quantum computing, quantum information and cryptography, the physics of information processing and computation, Bioinformatics, and more recently, brain inspired machine learning and brain modeling. He has published more than 250 journal and conference papers, and coauthored several books. He has mentored more than 25 Ph.D. students and 20 post-doctoral fellows and is always seeking collaborations with problem solvers and seekers. He also cofounded four silicon valley startups; one of these,, was founded in Jan. 2017, pioneered the unsupervised distillation of Concept Graphs from billions of documents, raised upwards of 45M US dollars in investment and was acquired in February 2017. 

Short Bio of Prof. Kailath:

Thomas Kailath received a B.E. (Telecom) degree in 1956 from the College of Engineering, Pune, India, and S.M. (1959) and Sc.D. (1961) degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then worked at the Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena, CA, before being appointed to Stanford University as Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1963. He was promoted to Professor in 1968, and appointed as the first holder of the Hitachi America Professorship in Engineering in1988. He assumed emeritus status in 2001, but remains active with his research and writing activities. He also held shorter-term appointments at several institutions around the world. 

His research and teaching have ranged over several fields of engineering and mathematics: information theory, communications, linear systems, estimation and control, signal processing, semiconductor manufacturing, probability and statistics, and matrix and operator theory. He has also co-founded and served as a director of several high-technology companies. He has mentored an outstanding array of over a hundred doctoral and postdoctoral scholars. Their joint efforts have led to over 300 journal papers, a dozen patents and several books and monographs, including the major textbooks: Linear Systems (1980) and Linear Estimation (2000). 

He received the IEEE Medal of Honor in 2007 for “exceptional contributions to the development of powerful algorithms for communications, control, computing and signal processing.” Among other major honors are the Shannon Award of the IEEE Information Theory Society; the IEEE Education Medal and the IEEE Signal Processing Medal; the 2009 BBVA Foundation Prize for Information and Communication Technologies; the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award; election to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; foreign membership of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Spanish Academy of Engineering, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Indian National Science Academy, the National Academy of Sciences,India, the Indian Academy of Sciences, and TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences). 

In November 2014, he received the 2012 US National Medal of Science from President Obama “for transformative contributions to the fields of information and system science, for distinctive and sustained mentoring of young scholars, and for translation of scientific ideas into entrepreneurial ventures that have had a significant impact on industry.”

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