Michael Kenneth Weir


  • KY16 9SS

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research overview

Current research is with the Intelligent Computation Group at the University of St Andrews.

Why are people still smarter than digital computers? A serial digital computer can perform millions of operations per second, while the human brain has a firing cycle for each neuron of the order of milliseconds. One conclusion from these facts is that the human brain's superior abilities are made possible through massive parallel distributed processing and representation. The incorporation of such parallelism into artificial systems with semi-conductor switching speeds offers the potential of very powerful capabilities. For the capabilities to be realised as actual abilities though, the parallelism has to be organised appropriately. Artificial neural networks are an attempt to provide systems incorporating these features effectively by modelling abstract computational features of the brain's information processing.

The aim of the Intelligent Computation Group at St Andrews is to provide such effective computation through modelling of both biological and cognitive insights into intelligent information processing and representation. This modelling also incorporates other artificial intelligence techniques such as Symbolic AI and Artificial Life into neural systems where they are appropriate. Heuristic search is used to provide benchmarks for the effectiveness of the computation.

Academic/Professional Qualification

B.A, The Open University; Ph.D., Brunel University; B.Sc., University of Bristol; American Computing Machines Society; British Psychological Society; Cybernetics Society