As technology progresses faster than we ever imagined, researchers at IBM have created a computer that is capable of working just like the human brain.
The human brain is a marvel of in-body technology. Not only does it process billions (a generous figure) of bodily functions and thoughts and movements and feelings in a day, it also hold’s your entire life’s collection of memories. What’s more, is that this is made even more impressive by the fact that the human brain is an estimated 75% water. Compare the brain then, to a computer ; both have similar features in that parts of a computer must communicate with each other in order to complete the task at hand and, while few computers could ever match the brain’s ability of remembering stuff, data is a big use of a PC too. Computers in the past have never been a fitting rival for the human brain but now, a team of researchers at IBM just might have created a worthy competitor.
Working with the United States of America’s DARPA unit (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), IBM are working on SyNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics). Dharmendra Modha, principal investigator and senior manager at IBM Research, says of the project’s aim that “It’s a very modest goal — it’s to build a brain-like computer”. How IBM are working towards achieving this is by developing a ’multi-threaded software system’ that functions as the basis for their brain-based project. In addition, IBM have also designed a programming language, including algorithms that allows the components to work together efficiently. Altogether, with the simulation covering 2 billion synaptic cores and with each neurosynaptic core holding 256, around 100 trillion synapses are represented by the project, which is close to that of the human brain.
Outside of statistics, what IBM’s project means is that artificial intelligence based devices, such a drones and unmanned vehicles on the ground, will be even more capable of thinking for themselves. Whilst currently, most of these self-thinking pieces of technology have a human controlling them at the other end and future possibilities for this have yet to be announced, maybe, in the future, we’ll see human thinking tech out in the wild.
We’ll keep you posted once we know more.