The first brain chip by IBM to sense events

Posted by David Khoirul

IBM brain chip to sense events smellI used to believe it would come true. And now, as you could read in many publications, it really exists -- the chip for the brain.

Similar to the way biological synapses work, the system is capable of "rewiring" its connections as it encounters new information.

By replicating that feature, researchers believe, the technology could start to learn. To understand human behaviour as well as environmental monitoring, we may eventually use cognitive computers.

IBM's project leader, Dharmendra Modha, explained that by "reverse engineering the brain" they were trying to recreate aspects of the mind such as perception, emotion, cognition and sensation.

There are two prototype "neurosynaptic computing chips" in the system. The two systems, described as the electronic equivalent of neurons, have 256 computational cores. While one chip contains 65,536 learning synapses, the other has 262,144 programmable synapses.

Synaptic connections between brain cells physically connect humans and animals, depending on our experience of the world. Essentially the forming and strengthening of connections is the process of learning.

The basis of computers, formed by such chips, are to monitor real-time traffic-light cameras, notice an anomaly and, in time to save lives, dispatch an ambulance.

With the advanced technology, it can perform potential applications, including lining the ocean with sensors for everything from temperature, humidity and wave height to acoustics and turbidity.

All that data will be constantly monitored by the computers to detect patterns such as rogue waves that could interrupt shipping or a tsunami that could wipe out coastal areas.

With sight, smell, temperature and other sensors, a glove could identify fruits and veggies that are contaminated.

Unlike today's computers, the chips do this by integrating memory and processing, which separate the functions. It's a difference between a farmers market where you buy and eat locally grown food and growing food in one part of the world then eating it in another.

"This is not just a 5 percent leap if“ this works,”" said Modha. We have already overcome huge conceptual roadblocks. “This is a leap of orders of magnitude forward.”

via VentureBeat, BBC, MSNBC

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