Yi Zhong's group published 'Incorporating neuro-inspired adaptability for continual learning in artificial intelligence' in Nature Machine Intelligence



Continual learning aims to empower artificial intelligence with strong adaptability to the real world. For this purpose, a desirable solution should properly balance memory stability with learning plasticity, and acquire sufficient compatibility to capture the observed distributions. Existing advances mainly focus on preserving memory stability to overcome catastrophic forgetting, but it remains difficult to flexibly accommodate incremental changes as biological intelligence does. Here, by modelling a robust Drosophila learning system that actively regulates forgetting with multiple learning modules, we propose a generic approach that appropriately attenuates old memories in parameter distributions to improve learning plasticity, and accordingly coordinates a multi-learner architecture to ensure solution compatibility. Through extensive theoretical and empirical validation, our approach not only enhances the performance of continual learning, especially over synaptic regularization methods in task-incremental settings, but also potentially advances the understanding of neurological adaptive mechanisms.





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