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Italian mathematicians say they have shown that artificial intelligence systems can learn to recognise complex images even more quickly than they do now by using a theory they concede is novel and rather abstract.

Writing in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, the team from the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Portugal describes its application of what is called topological data analysis, or TDA.

First developed 25 years ago by co-author Patrizio Frosini, now at the University of Bologna, Italy, TDA is based on topology, a sort of extended geometry that, instead of measuring lines and angles in rigid shapes, such as triangles or squares, classifies highly complex objects according to their shape.

It has applications in everything from cosmology and theoretical physics to robotics and biology.

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Category: Science