TrueHappiness: Neuromorphic Emotion Recognition on TrueNorth
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TrueHappiness: Neuromorphic Emotion Recognition on TrueNorth


We present an approach to constructing a neuromorphic device that responds to language input by producing neuron spikes in proportion to the strength of the appropriate positive or negative emotional response. Specifically, we perform a fine-grained sentiment analysis task with implementations on two different systems: one using conventional spiking neural network (SNN) simulators and the other one using IBM's Neurosynaptic System TrueNorth. Input words are projected into a high-dimensional semantic space and processed through a fully-connected neural network (FCNN) containing rectified linear units trained via backpropagation. After training, this FCNN is converted to a SNN by substituting the ReLUs with integrate-and-fire neurons. We show that there is practically no performance loss due to conversion to a spiking network on a sentiment analysis test set, i.e. correlations between predictions and human annotations differ by less than 0.02 comparing the original DNN and its spiking equivalent. Additionally, we show that the SNN generated with this technique can be mapped to existing neuromorphic hardware -- in our case, the TrueNorth chip. Mapping to the chip involves 4-bit synaptic weight discretization and adjustment of the neuron thresholds. The resulting end-to-end system can take a user input, i.e. a word in a vocabulary of over 300,000 words, and estimate its sentiment on TrueNorth with a power consumption of approximately 50 uW.

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