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  1. Abstract Neuroscience has long been an essential driver of progress in artificial intelligence (AI). We propose that to accelerate progress in AI, we must invest in fundamental research in NeuroAI. A core component of this is the embodied Turing test, which challenges AI animal models to interact with the sensorimotor world at skill levels akin to their living counterparts. The embodied Turing test shifts the focus from those capabilities like game playing and language that are especially well-developed or uniquely human to those capabilities – inherited from over 500 million years of evolution – that are shared with all animals. Building models that can pass the embodied Turing test will provide a roadmap for the next generation of AI. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
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    The recent striking success of deep neural networks in machine learning raises profound questions about the theoretical principles underlying their success. For example, what can such deep networks compute? How can we train them? How does information propagate through them? Why can they generalize? And how can we teach them to imagine? We review recent work in which methods of physical analysis rooted in statistical mechanics have begun to provide conceptual insights into these questions. These insights yield connections between deep learning and diverse physical and mathematical topics, including random landscapes, spin glasses, jamming, dynamical phase transitions, chaos, Riemannian geometry, random matrix theory, free probability, and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. Indeed, the fields of statistical mechanics and machine learning have long enjoyed a rich history of strongly coupled interactions, and recent advances at the intersection of statistical mechanics and deep learning suggest these interactions will only deepen going forward. 
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  9. Perceptual experiences may arise from neuronal activity patterns in mammalian neocortex. We probed mouse neocortex during visual discrimination using a red-shifted channelrhodopsin (ChRmine, discovered through structure-guided genome mining) alongside multiplexed multiphoton-holography (MultiSLM), achieving control of individually specified neurons spanning large cortical volumes with millisecond precision. Stimulating a critical number of stimulus-orientation-selective neurons drove widespread recruitment of functionally related neurons, a process enhanced by (but not requiring) orientation-discrimination task learning. Optogenetic targeting of orientation-selective ensembles elicited correct behavioral discrimination. Cortical layer–specific dynamics were apparent, as emergent neuronal activity asymmetrically propagated from layer 2/3 to layer 5, and smaller layer 5 ensembles were as effective as larger layer 2/3 ensembles in eliciting orientation discrimination behavior. Population dynamics emerging after optogenetic stimulation both correctly predicted behavior and resembled natural internal representations of visual stimuli at cellular resolution over volumes of cortex. 
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