Children are the greatest learning machines in the universe. University of California, Berkeley researchers are tapping the cognitive smarts of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to program computers to think more like humans.

Imagine if computers could learn as much and as quickly as they do,” says Alison Gopnik, a developmental psychologist at Berkeley and author of The Scientist in the Crib and The Philosophical Baby.

“Young children are capable of solving problems that still pose a challenge for computers, such as learning languages and figuring out causal relationships,” says Tom Griffiths, director of UC Berkeley’s Computational Cognitive Science Lab. “We are hoping to make computers smarter by making them a little more like children.”