Decoding the Enigma: Benchmarking Humans and AIs on the Many Facets of Working Memory

Published: 26 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024NeurIPS 2023 Datasets and Benchmarks PosterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: working memory, neuroscience, cognitive science, RNNs, transformers, behavioral, neural, benchmark
TL;DR: We investigate and compare various behavioral and neural working memory benchmarks between humans and AI.
Abstract: Working memory (WM), a fundamental cognitive process facilitating the temporary storage, integration, manipulation, and retrieval of information, plays a vital role in reasoning and decision-making tasks. Robust benchmark datasets that capture the multifaceted nature of WM are crucial for the effective development and evaluation of AI WM models. Here, we introduce a comprehensive Working Memory (WorM) benchmark dataset for this purpose. WorM comprises 10 tasks and a total of 1 million trials, assessing 4 functionalities, 3 domains, and 11 behavioral and neural characteristics of WM. We jointly trained and tested state-of-the-art recurrent neural networks and transformers on all these tasks. We also include human behavioral benchmarks as an upper bound for comparison. Our results suggest that AI models replicate some characteristics of WM in the brain, most notably primacy and recency effects, and neural clusters and correlates specialized for different domains and functionalities of WM. In the experiments, we also reveal some limitations in existing models to approximate human behavior. This dataset serves as a valuable resource for communities in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and AI, offering a standardized framework to compare and enhance WM models, investigate WM's neural underpinnings, and develop WM models with human-like capabilities. Our source code and data are available at:
Submission Number: 150