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A team of researchers at the Centre for Neuroscience (CNS) in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) recently conducted a study to compare the visual perception of the deep neural networks to that of humans and after conducting series of experiments they have concluded that deep neural networks visual perception are different from that of humans. According to IISc’s Associate Professor at the CNS, S.P.Arun, who led the team of researchers, said that deep neural networks are machine learning systems inspired by the network of brain cells or neurons in the human brain, which can be trained to perform specific tasks.
The team’s study published in Nature Communications, a journal, stated that deep networks, although a good model for understanding how the human brain visualizes objects, works differently from the latter.”While complex computation is trivial for them, certain tasks that are relatively easy for humans can be difficult for these networks to complete,” Arun claimed.
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“These networks have played a pivotal role in helping scientists understand how our brains perceive the things that we see. Although deep networks have evolved significantly over the past decade, they are still nowhere close to performing as well as the human brain in perceiving visual cues. The team has compared various qualitative properties of these deep networks with those of the human brain,” he explained. His team studied 13 different perceptual effects and uncovered previously unknown qualitative differences between deep networks and the human brain.
Arun and his team attempted to understand which visual tasks can be performed by these networks naturally by virtue of their architecture, and which require further training”Lots of studies have been showing similarities between deep networks and brains, but no one has really looked at systematic differences,” Arun claimed, who is the senior author of the study. He added that identifying these differences can push us closer to making these networks more brain-like.
While Georgin Jacob, first author and Ph.D. student at the CNS told that deep neural networks have revolutionized computer vision, and their object representations across layers match coarsely with visual cortical areas in the brain.” However, whether these representations exhibit qualitative patterns seen in human perception or brain representations remains unresolved,” he added. Citing an example of the Thatcher effect, Arun pointed out it is a phenomenon where humans find it easier to recognize local feature changes in an upright image, but this becomes difficult when the image is flipped upside-down.
“Deep networks trained to recognize upright faces showed a Thatcher effect when compared with networks trained to recognize objects. Another visual property of the human brain, called mirror confusion, was tested on these networks. To humans, mirror reflections along the vertical axis appear more similar than those along the horizontal axis. This proves that deep networks also show stronger mirror confusion for vertical compared to horizontally reflected images,” he explained.
Jacob added that another phenomenon peculiar to the human brain is that it focuses on coarser details first.”This is known as the global advantage effect. For example, in an image of a tree, our brain would first see the tree as a whole before noticing the details of the leaves in it. Similarly, when presented with an image of a face, humans first look at the face as a whole, and then focus on finer details like the eyes, nose, mouth, and so on,” he said.
He added that surprisingly, neural networks showed a local advantage which means that, unlike the brain, the networks focus on the finer details of an image first.”Therefore, even though these neural networks and the human brain carry out the same object recognition tasks, the steps followed by the two are very different.”Their study also finds that convolutional or deep neural networks have revolutionized computer vision with their human-like accuracy on object-recognition tasks, and their object representations match coarsely with the brain.
“Yet they are still outperformed by humans and show systematic finer-scale deviations from human perception. Even these differences are largely quantitative in that there are no explicit or emergent properties that are present in humans but absent in deep networks,” the study opined. According to this study, it is possible that these differences can be fixed by training deep networks on larger datasets, incorporating more constraints, or by modifying network architecture such as by including recurrence.
The team added that they recast well-known perceptual and neural phenomena in terms of distance comparisons, and ask whether they are present in feed-forward deep neural networks trained for object recognition.”Some phenomena were present in randomly initialized networks, such as the global advantage effect, sparseness, and relative size. Many others were present after object recognition training, such as the Thatcher effect, mirror confusion, Weber’s law, relative size, multiple object normalization, and correlated sparseness.
Yet other phenomena were absent in trained networks, such as 3D shape processing, surface invariance, occlusion, natural parts, and the global advantage. These findings indicate sufficient conditions for the emergence of these phenomena in brains and deep networks, and offer clues to the properties that could be incorporated to improve deep networks,” the study explained.
The study observed that deep neural networks trained on specific tasks (like scene parsing) can explain the responses in functionally specific brain regions (like the occipital place area that is known to be involved in recognizing navigational affordances) better than a deep neural network trained on a different task. The study concluded by stating that their analyses can help researchers build more robust neural networks that not only perform better but are also immune to “adversarial attacks” that aim to derail them. (IANS/JC)
"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."
Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.
Pseudo feminists state that women deserve more respect and rights, any other gender deserves no respect. They feel that women should be the ones ruling the world and at higher positions. When feminism takes a turn for extremities it becomes pseudo-feminism and people who label themselves as feminists will bash anyone who speaks against even the wrongdoings of a woman. They'll bash women who're wife and sisters for not speaking up and support any women criticizing political leaders even if it's completely irrational. This is where hypocrisy and pseudo-feminism merge with each other.
They take advantage of the rights given to women to protect themselves to threaten other genders. The rights given to women are supposed to make them feel reassured that they can reach out to the judiciary if their rights are being hampered not to threaten to make the victim sound like the culprit.
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Indian Feminist Movement has made significant progress however, even in the modern world women are still unsafe and are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job, land ownership, and access to education. While filling the official papers it is still asked "Wife of /Daughter of:….."
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family. Such injustices make feminism such an important movement, gender equality is worth fighting for to create a safe environment for women. Feminists over the years have been criticized for focusing on the rights of privileged women and not giving equal representation to poorer and lower caste women, which has led to separate caste-specific feminist organizations and movements.
Some notable milestones in the Feminist Movement
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati Pratha (practice in which a widow sacrificed herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre) and child marriage
- Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls at Bhidewada in Pune city in 1848.
- In 1972, SEWA, the biggest trade union for women was set up by Ela Bhatt for women working in the informal sector.
- The Chipko Movement was launched and led by women in 1973.
- #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse was started in 2006 and revived in the year 2015.
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family.Unsplash
Feminism is often misunderstood as pseudo-feminism and hence, becomes the target for public hatred and is accused of wronging other genders under the façade of feminism. It is misunderstood by Indians as female domination instead of gender equality. Indian society and Indian feminists believe that only men are perpetrators of a heinous crime like rape and they refuse to even recognize the men who say they were raped and it's the toxic masculinity in the society that believes how can a woman rape a man? Reality is different from what we believe, women can be the perpetrator too, women threaten to file a case of domestic violence, or sexual assault against innocent people just to fulfill their ego.
Thankfully feminism and pseudo feminism are two separate concepts and feminism is just about equality and not judgment. Indian society and feminists actually need to understand the difference between the two and stop tarnishing the Feminist Movement as a whole.
Keywords: Feminism, World, India, Pseudo-Feminism, Gender
Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.
The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.
Yakshi idol in Veroor, Sri Dharamashastha temple Image source: wikimedia commons
The Yakshi is believed to live in a palm tree which can appear like a palace. Victims are taken here before they are killed. Travellers on highways are often advised not to stop near heavily forested areas, or speak to anyone who closely resembles a Yakshi. Some believe she can change form, while other hold to the belief that she doesn't. after securing her victim, the only trace left behind is body parts like hair, nails, and teeth.
They say, like other ghosts, a Yakshi's feet will not touch the ground. This is something to look out for. Mysterious deaths have been reported across the rural areas in Kerala, and all these have been attributed to the legend.
Keywords: Legends, Yakshi, Urban legend, Ghost, Kerala, Myth, Vampire
The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.
But the question is, "was India always against homosexuality"? Has the concept of homosexuality being unnatural existed forever? No, in Indian history and Hinduism homosexuality has never been an offense, in fact in several instances it has been depicted how people embraced their identity, be it sexual identity or gender identity. Section 377 was brought to India by the British in 1862, while India was colonized. Even after the Independence, it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled it as irrational and illogical.
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Homosexuality in Ancient India
When Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in India, there was an uproar about it being a western ideology and liberalism. But in reality, homosexuality has existed since the time of the Vedas. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) researched and discovered that it was around 3102 B.C. (during the Vedic Age) that homosexuality or non-normative sexual identity was recognized as "Tritiya Prakriti", or the third nature. Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.
Hinduism is the most vastly followed religion in India. Hinduism does not explicitly mention homosexuality however it does contain a homosexual theme and characters in its text. There have been various instances in our scriptures and texts that have introduced us to LGBT+ characters such as the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati Ardhanariswara meaning "the half-female lord". One of the most popular and ancient texts on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment of life, "Kamasutra" has a complete chapter dedicated to homosexuality and homosexual sex. Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities.
Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities. Facebook
Our Mughals were Queer
Mughals are often seen under the light of cruelty, rigid ethics, nobility, and polygamy. Simultaneously, Mughals are also the ones credited for the emergence of Sufism, abolished jizya tax, love beyond religion, classes, and gender.
In the Baburnama written in memoirs of our very first Mughal ruler Muhammad Babur, several instances documented Babur's infatuation and affection towards a teenage boy named Baburi. We also have multiple Persian couplets as evidence of Babur's affection for Baburi. Mughals engaged in homosexuality and pederasty, and they believed that later was a form of "pure love".
But as time passed homosexuality was suppressed more and more though people practiced it in secret if revealed they were punished. According to the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri Sharia-based text of the Mughal Empire, there is a common set of punishments for homosexuality, which could include 50 lashes for a slave, 100 for a free infidel, or death by stoning for a Muslim.
British Raj and Independence of India
In 1862, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexual sex came into force. Even after Independence in 1947, the section remained a part of the Indian Constitution. There were protests all over the country to give people of the LGBT+ community basic human rights but it was not until 2018 that The Supreme Court of India ruled the portion of Section 377 has unconstitutional and struck it off. One judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future.". With Section 377 gone are LGBT+ people allowed to fall in love freely? No, people are still afraid to love because of the stigma in our society when it comes to homosexuality; they are seen as lesser humans.
ALSO READ: Significant Support for Rights for LGBTQ+
Although the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexual activities, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the country. Homophobia is still prevalent in India, and homosexual children would rather commit suicide than come out to society with their true identity, that's how harsh of a world we live in. Lacking support from family, society, or police, many gay rape victims do not report the crimes. In 1977, writer and Indian mathematician Shakuntla Devi published "The World of Homosexuals". It was the first study in the Indian context; the book contains interviews with homosexual men set in the years of Emergency. She wrote, "rather than pretending that homosexuals don't exist it is time we face the facts squarely in the eye and find room for homosexual people." We've had small victories in our fight against homophobia and getting LGBT+ community the rights they deserve as humans, but we still have a long and exhausting fight ahead of us.