Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grok by Numenta - real-time pattern discovery

Thanks to Jeff Adkins,  I have looked at the website of a company called "Numenta" which has a seemingly interesting product called Grok.  As a science fiction fan, I like words from science fiction books that made their way into the language, and Heinlien's word from the immortal book "stranger in a strange land" is one of them.  

The Grok product by  Numenta,  illustrated by this figure -

is described as a tool that discovers in real-time patterns in events (data streams) and generate predictions and anomalies detection. The technology behind it is described to emulate the human brain and belongs to the neural nets family.  There is a white paper on the website explaining it.  

The site describes the types of created patterns as: temporal, spatial, and spatiotemporal.  However, their use of the term "spatial" is non conventional in the sense, that it does not have any necessary relationship to location, but is defined as "relationships between things that happen at the same time", which in the examples relate to relations between attributes of the same event (e.g. the relationship between age, gender and income to loan amount).  Calling this relation "spatial pattern" is kind of confusing to me.

Other than that -- seems interesting, I will be curious to get more information about real-life experience of this technology. 


Unknown said...

You could use Grok with your students, Grok is GPL as Jeff Hawkins told me some months ago We will also use it with our uCepCortex project if we make it this time...

Unknown said...

You can use Grok with your students or in your course. Grok is GPL as Jeff Hawkins told me some months ago We will also use it in our uCepCortex project if we make it this time...

Some additional comments:

In his new book of December 2012 "How to create a mind", Ray Kurzweil critizised the approaches of Grok and also Henry Markram's team of the Blue Brain, now the Human Brain Project. Grok would only work on sequences or sequentially ordered events what we call TOSETs (totally ordered sets of events like event streams), but not POSETs (Partially ordered sets of events like event clouds). His criticism regarding Blue Brain approach is that this approach would not be able to learn like a human brain or the approach of Kurzweil's team based on Hierarchical Hidden Markov Models.

Dileep George as the younger colleague of Jeff Hawkins and co-founder of Numenta founded 2010 a start-up Vicarious Systems with the Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel and some more, what shows that there is also an interest of the industry and business regarding neuro-inspired Event Processing products