In Odessa scientists trying to make computers think like human beings

В Одессе ученые пытаются заставить компьютеры думать по-человечески

German scientists investigating artificial intelligence

In the center of Odessa there is an office in which scientists from Germany together with the Ukrainian colleagues doing research in the field of General artificial intelligence – they teach machines to think like people, writes the with reference for Today.

A few years ago two friends – Arthur Franz and Michael Leffler, moved to Odessa and founded the laboratory ASSAM. The Germans found in Ukraine like-minded people and started to develop intelligent machines.


At a meeting with reporters Arthur Franz came to the monowheel. He is fluent in Russian, despite years of living in Germany, where, as it turned out, many years ago, his parents moved from the Soviet Union.

The entrance door to the lab is hidden a small office where a few jobs with computers and laptops. In the middle of the room stands a large whiteboard covered with long mathematical formulas. But no bots there: researchers need only a computers.


The name of the laboratory stands for Odessa Competence Center for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (OCCAM), which translates as Odessa research center of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The abbreviation matches the name of the philosopher William of Occam, to whom is attributed the authorship of the logical principle of “Occam’s Razor”, and because the company logo depicted a razor blade.

“The method of “Occam’s razor” is the choice of the most simple and logical explanation coming from all possible options,” the scientist explains.

This principle is Central to the research laboratory. When Arthur and Michael started to build his business and was looking for a suitable place for work and life, their choice fell on Ukraine. They were looking for a place to live and do research for little money. Besides, young people have been here before.

“Many consider Ukraine not the best place to live and work and I think that somewhere in other place better. People in Germany think the same way. When we traveled was in Odessa, and therefore chose this wonderful city,” — shared with us Arthur.


In OCCAM define artificial intelligence as a system capable of solving a wide range of tasks, for example, to drive or to diagnose the disease. And to solve any task artificial intelligence must be able to anticipate how it will react to his actions environment. To do this, as we understand from the scientist, requires enormous amounts of data, and to place them in the “brain” of artificial intelligence, they need to shrink.

“Data compression is an important element. But the main reason for compression is that a compressed format can be used to predict the development environment,” explains Arthur.

Imagine that you go on a journey for six months, but instead of a large backpack can bring only a small bag. How to be, not to give up because of this from the appropriate way of things and objects? This task and try to solve in the Odessa lab, finding a General algorithm.

There is already developed a special technique, which he called “the theory of incremental compression”. It allows to significantly reduce the amount of data being processed – something like the usual packages file archiver on your computer. The researchers want to create a machine that will be able to think, plan and use the experience to solve the tasks set for it.

“Our goal is to make a major contribution to the development of General artificial intelligence,” says Arthur.

On the part of believers, and not only that, you can often hear words of condemnation – supposedly not worth it to try on the role of God, trying to create such a machine.

“The question of faith is a matter of each. In any case, the persecution of education and science is bad,” said Arthur.


Science fiction has shaped the idea of artificial intelligence as a form of life that may one day enslave mankind. Arthur is not taken to make predictions, but, in his opinion, it is only one of the possible outcomes that he did not think probable.

“People often confuse intelligence with emotions or goal setting. It is possible to create a completely without it. Emotions is part of the motivational system that tells us what to do, and the intellect decides how to achieve it. Therefore, these objectives can be set from the outside, not necessarily to build a car,” — said the scientist.

Our interlocutor believes that the creation of artificial intelligence will be able to greatly ease the mental work of man. For all time of existence of this industry made possible the implementation of many tasks such as speech recognition and speech synthesis, automatic translation, navigation, play checkers with the computer, and more.

The scientist hopes that in the future artificial intelligence will help to solve more serious problems in the world, for example, to reduce the number of accidents that occur because of the person.

“Most likely, we “merge” with artificial intelligence. And will, so to speak, complement each other, to cooperate,” he said.

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