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AI spinoff -- genius kids who read fluently at two?

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  • pixeltwistalpha
    A friend sent me something interesting. Apparently an ex-Princeton scientist has used AI insights to develop a new way to teach reading to kids. His own kids
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 6, 2008
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      A friend sent me something interesting. Apparently an ex-Princeton
      scientist has used AI insights to develop a new way to teach reading
      to kids. His own kids read by the age of two apparently. Says kids
      should learn to read while learning to talk because that's when our
      evolved language aptitude is the greatest. He also thinks kids will be
      smarter that way because their brain will be more efficiently organized.

      He's still writing it up from what I can tell, but there's a
      manuscript floating around among academics (and ex-academics like me).
      He apparently calls the method native reading. Anyway, I got sent a
      piece that's pretty interesting.

      "Another advantage of native reading is due to the fact that oral and
      written language are highly-correlated systems (that is, very
      isomorphic). Because of their similar structures, learning oral and
      written language simultaneously should lead to a more compact, and
      therefore more efficient, representation of language in the brain.
      The way most children learn language now is by developing the
      fundamentals of spoken language skills separately and first, mastering
      the low-level aspects of language — basic sentence structure,
      conjugation, vocabulary and syntax — well before the age of three.
      After children have learned the fundamentals of speech, there follows
      a period of several years where they concentrate on generally
      higher-level concepts of oral language: increasing vocabulary;
      learning about irony, humor, and other "storytelling" concepts; using
      language extensively for social interaction of increasing
      sophistication. Then, after years developing these higher-level
      language concepts, children suddenly, at the age of five or six, are
      brought back to square one and are belatedly given concentrated
      instruction on the low-level mechanics of written language: learning
      such things as the non-intuitive alphabetical symbols of writing, the
      plethora of nonstandard orthographical anomalies like silent letters,
      struggling to develop good instincts for the maze of redundancy and
      degeneracy in sound-to-letter mappings (and vice versa), and learning
      issues of capitalization, spacing, punctuation, and other foundational
      conventions of writing. To master the task of reading with
      comprehension, it is necessary for their brains to efficiently and
      fluidly link up these new low-level representations of written
      language with the low-level representations of oral language that were
      developed years earlier (and whose data were via an entirely
      different, auditory, sensory channel) and whose low-level neural
      representation has certainly become to some extent fixed, or "frozen
      in", since all that time passed. I think this (currently typical)
      non-native path by which children learn language probably results in
      much more separation of language function in the brain than is ideal,
      with relatively distinct centers of oral and written language
      (although there is probably great variation in this). So, not only do
      non-native readers have to go through the unnecessary struggle of
      learning many basic language skills twice, but the overall neural
      representation of language for non-native readers is then less
      efficient and more redundant because their course of development makes
      it difficult for late-reading children's brains to take full advantage
      of the simplifying isomorphism of oral and written language. Because
      of this inefficient redundancy, the neural representation of language
      will be less compact. Put simply, I think that non-native readers are
      likely to use more of their brain for language, and actually get less
      understanding for this extra effort and allocation. For example, my
      son could outspell me starting at about the age of three. He has only
      gotten better with time—though I am a decent speller—and he is able to
      spell correctly with such ease. I believe his instinctive feel for
      the quirks of English spelling is due to the fact that he has never
      really not known them. In contrast, though I learned to read quite
      easily around the age of five, I still have to think more about how to
      spell, and I still get caught up on some of the more bizarre
      orthographical irregularities (those "ie"s and "ei"s, for instance).
      My son often finds my difficulties quite hilarious, although he is old
      enough now (at eight) to be diplomatic about it. Still, it is hard
      for him to empathize with my struggle at a task that requires no
      effort at all for him. And his ability with spelling was developed
      without any explicit effort: it just came from his reading, not from
      any sort of regimented "spelling practice" at all. He is like the
      three-year-old girl who can't see why a foreign visitor trips over the
      irregular verbs that the she doesn't even notice, because she has
      never really not known them. A compact, efficient, near-optimal
      representation of language, with low-level and fluid connectivity
      between written and spoken words, doesn't just improve language
      skills: because of the substantial flexibility of allocation in the
      brain, an optimally compact "language center" also should leave more
      neural resources available for every other kind of intellectual task.
      Native reading is especially powerful because it does two things
      simultaneously: its compact neural representation of language frees
      up more of the brain for intellectual development and this optimal
      understanding of language also means that a primary tool and channel
      for learning (which language certainly is) is fluent and largely
      effortless. In rough terms of neural-resource accounting, knowledge
      will therefore both "cost less" to acquire, because reading and
      language generally are so easy, and the storage and maintenance of
      that knowledge will also cost less, due to the freed-up neural
      resources that can be utilized for memory of information and
      higher-level concepts. As native readers become more common, and as
      neuroscientific research advances, it will be interesting to see if
      functional brain-imaging studies can someday directly detect the
      efficiency and compactness of native reader's neural representation of
      language, and perhaps even document the reallocation of freed-up
      resources for, say, foreign languages, musical ability, or
      mathematical skills."

      If I have more kids, I'm going to try it.

      -pix
    • Ronald C. Blue
      While precise timing is important I believe it is only important to maintain a holographic data projection which is referenced by other analysis circuits. It
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 10, 2008
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        While precise timing is important I believe it is only important to maintain

        a holographic data projection which is referenced by other analysis circuits.

        It is similar to the up dated image on a standard TV.

        Analysis circuits would see the image. They would respond and interpret it in different ways.

        I believe the Thalamus would be the main projection area, but I doubt it would be the only one.

        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        Language of a fly proves surprising

        PhysOrg.com, Mar. 8, 2008


        Los Alamos, Princeton University, and Indiana University research fundamentally alters earlier beliefs about how neural networks function and could provide the basis for intelligent computers that mimic biological processes.

        The researchers developed a novel way to view the world through the eyes of a common fly and partially decode the insect's reactions to changes in the world around it.

        They used electrodes to tap into motion-sensitive neurons in the visual system. The team harnessed the wired fly into an elaborate turntable-like mechanism that mimics the kind of acrobatic flight a fly might undergo while evading a predator or chasing another fly. The mechanism can spin extremely fast and change velocities quickly. A fly in the mechanism sees changes in the world around it and its motion-sensitive neurons react much in the same way as they would if the insect were actually flying.

        Under complex flight scenarios, the fly's neurons fired very quickly. The researchers looked at the firing patterns and mapped them with a binary code of ones and zeroes. The motion-sensitive neurons emitted spikes very often and very precisely, contradicting earlier research findings that the precise timing of the impulses was largely irrelevant.

        The research is significant because it re-examines fundamental assumptions that became the basis of neuromimetic approaches to artificial intelligence, such as artificial neural networks. These assumptions have developed networks based on reacting to a number of impulses within a given time period rather than the precise timing of those impulses.

        New understanding of neural function in the design of computers could assist in analyses of satellite images and facial-pattern recognition in high-security environments, and could help solve other national and global security problems.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Bondhan Novandy
        Hi pix, After you apply this scheme to your kid, please update the result to us :) Bondhan ~Don t have kids and wife yet On Fri, Mar 7, 2008 at 12:42 PM,
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 19, 2008
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          Hi pix,

          After you apply this scheme to your kid, please update the result to us :)

          Bondhan

          ~Don't have kids and wife yet

          On Fri, Mar 7, 2008 at 12:42 PM, pixeltwistalpha <pixeltwistalpha@...>
          wrote:

          > A friend sent me something interesting. Apparently an ex-Princeton
          > scientist has used AI insights to develop a new way to teach reading
          > to kids. His own kids read by the age of two apparently. Says kids
          > should learn to read while learning to talk because that's when our
          > evolved language aptitude is the greatest. He also thinks kids will be
          > smarter that way because their brain will be more efficiently organized.
          >
          > He's still writing it up from what I can tell, but there's a
          > manuscript floating around among academics (and ex-academics like me).
          > He apparently calls the method native reading. Anyway, I got sent a
          > piece that's pretty interesting.
          >
          > "Another advantage of native reading is due to the fact that oral and
          > written language are highly-correlated systems (that is, very
          > isomorphic). Because of their similar structures, learning oral and
          > written language simultaneously should lead to a more compact, and
          > therefore more efficient, representation of language in the brain.
          > The way most children learn language now is by developing the
          > fundamentals of spoken language skills separately and first, mastering
          > the low-level aspects of language � basic sentence structure,
          > conjugation, vocabulary and syntax � well before the age of three.
          > After children have learned the fundamentals of speech, there follows
          > a period of several years where they concentrate on generally
          > higher-level concepts of oral language: increasing vocabulary;
          > learning about irony, humor, and other "storytelling" concepts; using
          > language extensively for social interaction of increasing
          > sophistication. Then, after years developing these higher-level
          > language concepts, children suddenly, at the age of five or six, are
          > brought back to square one and are belatedly given concentrated
          > instruction on the low-level mechanics of written language: learning
          > such things as the non-intuitive alphabetical symbols of writing, the
          > plethora of nonstandard orthographical anomalies like silent letters,
          > struggling to develop good instincts for the maze of redundancy and
          > degeneracy in sound-to-letter mappings (and vice versa), and learning
          > issues of capitalization, spacing, punctuation, and other foundational
          > conventions of writing. To master the task of reading with
          > comprehension, it is necessary for their brains to efficiently and
          > fluidly link up these new low-level representations of written
          > language with the low-level representations of oral language that were
          > developed years earlier (and whose data were via an entirely
          > different, auditory, sensory channel) and whose low-level neural
          > representation has certainly become to some extent fixed, or "frozen
          > in", since all that time passed. I think this (currently typical)
          > non-native path by which children learn language probably results in
          > much more separation of language function in the brain than is ideal,
          > with relatively distinct centers of oral and written language
          > (although there is probably great variation in this). So, not only do
          > non-native readers have to go through the unnecessary struggle of
          > learning many basic language skills twice, but the overall neural
          > representation of language for non-native readers is then less
          > efficient and more redundant because their course of development makes
          > it difficult for late-reading children's brains to take full advantage
          > of the simplifying isomorphism of oral and written language. Because
          > of this inefficient redundancy, the neural representation of language
          > will be less compact. Put simply, I think that non-native readers are
          > likely to use more of their brain for language, and actually get less
          > understanding for this extra effort and allocation. For example, my
          > son could outspell me starting at about the age of three. He has only
          > gotten better with time�though I am a decent speller�and he is able to
          > spell correctly with such ease. I believe his instinctive feel for
          > the quirks of English spelling is due to the fact that he has never
          > really not known them. In contrast, though I learned to read quite
          > easily around the age of five, I still have to think more about how to
          > spell, and I still get caught up on some of the more bizarre
          > orthographical irregularities (those "ie"s and "ei"s, for instance).
          > My son often finds my difficulties quite hilarious, although he is old
          > enough now (at eight) to be diplomatic about it. Still, it is hard
          > for him to empathize with my struggle at a task that requires no
          > effort at all for him. And his ability with spelling was developed
          > without any explicit effort: it just came from his reading, not from
          > any sort of regimented "spelling practice" at all. He is like the
          > three-year-old girl who can't see why a foreign visitor trips over the
          > irregular verbs that the she doesn't even notice, because she has
          > never really not known them. A compact, efficient, near-optimal
          > representation of language, with low-level and fluid connectivity
          > between written and spoken words, doesn't just improve language
          > skills: because of the substantial flexibility of allocation in the
          > brain, an optimally compact "language center" also should leave more
          > neural resources available for every other kind of intellectual task.
          > Native reading is especially powerful because it does two things
          > simultaneously: its compact neural representation of language frees
          > up more of the brain for intellectual development and this optimal
          > understanding of language also means that a primary tool and channel
          > for learning (which language certainly is) is fluent and largely
          > effortless. In rough terms of neural-resource accounting, knowledge
          > will therefore both "cost less" to acquire, because reading and
          > language generally are so easy, and the storage and maintenance of
          > that knowledge will also cost less, due to the freed-up neural
          > resources that can be utilized for memory of information and
          > higher-level concepts. As native readers become more common, and as
          > neuroscientific research advances, it will be interesting to see if
          > functional brain-imaging studies can someday directly detect the
          > efficiency and compactness of native reader's neural representation of
          > language, and perhaps even document the reallocation of freed-up
          > resources for, say, foreign languages, musical ability, or
          > mathematical skills."
          >
          > If I have more kids, I'm going to try it.
          >
          > -pix
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • John G. Rose
          Actually I have to get this on film - my 20 month old boy speaks few words but can browse the internet quite well. There are many really good websites nowadays
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 27, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Actually I have to get this on film - my 20 month old boy speaks few words
            but can browse the internet quite well. There are many really good websites
            nowadays that teach kids to read and many are free. And to watch him browse
            through these sites is hilarious. When he gets stuck he starts hitting keys
            and clicking randomly till he figures out how to get going again. Naturally
            he doesn't get near my computer as it has gotten messed up badly within
            seconds due to the rapid clicking, mouse dragging and key hitting.

            My other son is 6 and can read and write quite well and he learned many
            words and numbers the same way. The internet is just amazing for this stuff.
            I put the 6 year old in front of Adobe Illustrator and he immediately
            started cranking away at it. I think it is just a matter of exposure, that's
            all...

            John


            > From: artificialintelligencegroup@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Hi pix,
            >
            > After you apply this scheme to your kid, please update the result to us
            > :)
            >
            > Bondhan
            >
            > ~Don't have kids and wife yet
            >
            > On Fri, Mar 7, 2008 at 12:42 PM, pixeltwistalpha
            > <pixeltwistalpha@...>
            > wrote:
            >
            > > A friend sent me something interesting. Apparently an ex-Princeton
            > > scientist has used AI insights to develop a new way to teach reading
            > > to kids. His own kids read by the age of two apparently. Says kids
            > > should learn to read while learning to talk because that's when our
            > > evolved language aptitude is the greatest. He also thinks kids will be
            > > smarter that way because their brain will be more efficiently
            > organized.
            > >
            > > He's still writing it up from what I can tell, but there's a
            > > manuscript floating around among academics (and ex-academics like me).
            > > He apparently calls the method native reading. Anyway, I got sent a
            > > piece that's pretty interesting.
            > >
            > > "Another advantage of native reading is due to the fact that oral and
            > > written language are highly-correlated systems (that is, very
            > > isomorphic). Because of their similar structures, learning oral and
            > > written language simultaneously should lead to a more compact, and
            > > therefore more efficient, representation of language in the brain.
            > > The way most children learn language now is by developing the
            > > fundamentals of spoken language skills separately and first, mastering
            > > the low-level aspects of language - basic sentence structure,
            > > conjugation, vocabulary and syntax - well before the age of three.
            > > After children have learned the fundamentals of speech, there follows
            > > a period of several years where they concentrate on generally
            > > higher-level concepts of oral language: increasing vocabulary;
            > > learning about irony, humor, and other "storytelling" concepts; using
            > > language extensively for social interaction of increasing
            > > sophistication. Then, after years developing these higher-level
            > > language concepts, children suddenly, at the age of five or six, are
            > > brought back to square one and are belatedly given concentrated
            > > instruction on the low-level mechanics of written language: learning
            > > such things as the non-intuitive alphabetical symbols of writing, the
            > > plethora of nonstandard orthographical anomalies like silent letters,
            > > struggling to develop good instincts for the maze of redundancy and
            > > degeneracy in sound-to-letter mappings (and vice versa), and learning
            > > issues of capitalization, spacing, punctuation, and other foundational
            > > conventions of writing. To master the task of reading with
            > > comprehension, it is necessary for their brains to efficiently and
            > > fluidly link up these new low-level representations of written
            > > language with the low-level representations of oral language that were
            > > developed years earlier (and whose data were via an entirely
            > > different, auditory, sensory channel) and whose low-level neural
            > > representation has certainly become to some extent fixed, or "frozen
            > > in", since all that time passed. I think this (currently typical)
            > > non-native path by which children learn language probably results in
            > > much more separation of language function in the brain than is ideal,
            > > with relatively distinct centers of oral and written language
            > > (although there is probably great variation in this). So, not only do
            > > non-native readers have to go through the unnecessary struggle of
            > > learning many basic language skills twice, but the overall neural
            > > representation of language for non-native readers is then less
            > > efficient and more redundant because their course of development makes
            > > it difficult for late-reading children's brains to take full advantage
            > > of the simplifying isomorphism of oral and written language. Because
            > > of this inefficient redundancy, the neural representation of language
            > > will be less compact. Put simply, I think that non-native readers are
            > > likely to use more of their brain for language, and actually get less
            > > understanding for this extra effort and allocation. For example, my
            > > son could outspell me starting at about the age of three. He has only
            > > gotten better with time-though I am a decent speller-and he is able to
            > > spell correctly with such ease. I believe his instinctive feel for
            > > the quirks of English spelling is due to the fact that he has never
            > > really not known them. In contrast, though I learned to read quite
            > > easily around the age of five, I still have to think more about how to
            > > spell, and I still get caught up on some of the more bizarre
            > > orthographical irregularities (those "ie"s and "ei"s, for instance).
            > > My son often finds my difficulties quite hilarious, although he is old
            > > enough now (at eight) to be diplomatic about it. Still, it is hard
            > > for him to empathize with my struggle at a task that requires no
            > > effort at all for him. And his ability with spelling was developed
            > > without any explicit effort: it just came from his reading, not from
            > > any sort of regimented "spelling practice" at all. He is like the
            > > three-year-old girl who can't see why a foreign visitor trips over the
            > > irregular verbs that the she doesn't even notice, because she has
            > > never really not known them. A compact, efficient, near-optimal
            > > representation of language, with low-level and fluid connectivity
            > > between written and spoken words, doesn't just improve language
            > > skills: because of the substantial flexibility of allocation in the
            > > brain, an optimally compact "language center" also should leave more
            > > neural resources available for every other kind of intellectual task.
            > > Native reading is especially powerful because it does two things
            > > simultaneously: its compact neural representation of language frees
            > > up more of the brain for intellectual development and this optimal
            > > understanding of language also means that a primary tool and channel
            > > for learning (which language certainly is) is fluent and largely
            > > effortless. In rough terms of neural-resource accounting, knowledge
            > > will therefore both "cost less" to acquire, because reading and
            > > language generally are so easy, and the storage and maintenance of
            > > that knowledge will also cost less, due to the freed-up neural
            > > resources that can be utilized for memory of information and
            > > higher-level concepts. As native readers become more common, and as
            > > neuroscientific research advances, it will be interesting to see if
            > > functional brain-imaging studies can someday directly detect the
            > > efficiency and compactness of native reader's neural representation of
            > > language, and perhaps even document the reallocation of freed-up
            > > resources for, say, foreign languages, musical ability, or
            > > mathematical skills."
            > >
            > > If I have more kids, I'm going to try it.
            > >
            > > -pix
            > >
            > >
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