Friday, August 19, 2011

IBM Develops Computer Chip That Acts Like a Brain

iRobot NS-5Artificial Intelligence is something that science fiction movie directors love to utilize. Many directors have envisioned a future with robots and things that can act and behave like humans. However, something like that has always been out of reach for us, until now.

IBM recently introduced a new experimental neurosynaptic computer chip that emulates brain function in areas like cognition, perception and action. According to statements from IBM, these new chips will use algorithms and silicon circuitry in order to recreate spiking neurons and synapses in the brain.

These new chips will be embedded into cognitive computers. These computers will not be programmed to do certain actions, like the computers you and I use everyday. Instead, these devices will learn through experiences., create hypotheses and remember outcomes.

According to Project Leader for IBM Research Dharmendra Modha, "These chips are another significant step in the evolution of computers from calculators to learning systems, signaling the beginning of a new generation of computers and their applications in business, science and government."

The chips are being designed and created by IBM, who is working alongside multiple university collaborators. DARPA, or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has already awarded $21 million in funding to IBM for the research as part of Phase 2 of the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics, or SyNAPSE (I hope they pay their anagram creators handsomely) project.

SyNAPSE is a project that was designed to create a computer system that will analyze complex information from multiple sensors and adapt itself automatically based on its interaction with the environment. Regardless, this technology is extremely impressive and, albeit, rather scary. If they are already making computer chips that can think, I wonder how long it will be before they make ones that will subsequently take over humanity? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Source: Government Technology - IBM Computer Chip Mimics Human Brain Function

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