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Prof Moritz Helmstaedter

Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research

Other countries – other customs. But also other brains? How are we wired in the brain and why? The cells in our grey matter communicate with each other constantly – it is not the individual cells that count, but the interaction in an “orchestra of neurons”.

Moritz Helmstaedter examines where and how things happen in the brain. He is an expert in connectomics and investigates the network properties of the nervous system. The mapping of neural networks in the brain will help in determining the relationship between artificial and biological intelligence and improve understanding of psychiatric disorders. Moritz Helmstaedter studied medicine and physics in Heidelberg, where he also received his doctorate from the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research under Nobel Laureate Bert Sakmann. He teaches at Radboud University, Nijmegen, in the Netherlands and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Biomedical Big Data Initiative of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai.

keynote | German

11.20 a.m.


"Have we learned everything yet?"

Prof. Moritz Helmstaedter opens his speech by pointing out that we should be proud of our brains. He describes neural networks that are relevant in machine learning. Innovations are also needed to promote the performance of artificial intelligence. For example, knowledge of the forward connection of the human brain is applied. These findings are from the middle of the last century and today's artificial intelligence is thus inspired by ancient science.

Helmstaedter also compares the energy requirements of biological and artificial intelligence. The energy consumption of today's artificial intelligence is far too high and should be reduced. This is not only for sustainability reasons. Another point is that empathy should not be neglected in artificial intelligence.

Furthermore, an important difference between computers and humans is their internal architecture.

The 85 million nerve cells in our brain communicate specific information with over 1000 other nerve cells. This mapping of neural networks in the brain helps to determine the relationship between artificial and biological intelligence and to improve understanding.