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IBM新一代芯片neurosynaptic能学人类思考(组图) IBM Unveils Chips That Mimic Human Brain (13/08/2011)







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IBM unveils chips that mimic the human brain

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IBM has unveiled a new experimental computer chip that it says mimics the human brain in that it perceives, acts and even thinks.

It terms the machines built with these chips "cognitive computers", claiming that they are able to learn through experience, find patterns, generate ideas and understand the outcomes.

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In building this new generation of chip, IBM combined principles of nanoscience, neuroscience and supercomputing.

It has been awarded $21m (£12.7m) of new funding by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the next phase of the project, which it terms "Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics" (SyNAPSE).

"This is a major initiative to move beyond the von Neumann paradigm that has been ruling computer architecture for more than half a century," said Dharmendra Modha, project leader for IBM Research.

Modha added that the chip may see applications in business, science and government.

"Future applications of computing will increasingly demand functionality that is not efficiently delivered by the traditional architecture.

"These chips are another significant step in the evolution of computers from calculators to learning systems, signalling the beginning of a new generation of computers and their applications in business, science and government."

IBM states that the chips, while certainly not biological, are inspired by the architecture of the human brain in their design. Digital silicon circuits make up what it terms the "neurosynaptic core".

The scientists have built two working prototype designs. Both cores contain 256 neurons, one with 262,144 programmable synapses and the other with 65,536 learning synapses. The team has successfully demonstrated simple applications like navigation, machine vision, pattern recognition, associative memory and classification.

But what are the potential real-world applications of this technology? Tsunami warnings for one, claims IBM:

"A cognitive computing system monitoring the world's water supply could contain a network of sensors and actuators that constantly record and report metrics such as temperature, pressure, wave height, acoustics and ocean tide, and issue tsunami warnings based on its decision making," said IBM in a statement.

Going slightly more Minority Report, IBM goes on to suggest an instrumented glove that a grocer could use to flag bad or contaminated produce.

On a more practical note, IBM has said that this technology could result in computers that take up far less space and use less power than those in use today.

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Comment by LIM SC on September 5, 2011 at 4:08pm


Human Brain Could Be Capable of 'Downloading,' Research Suggests


In this month's issue of Scientific American, writer Gary Stix reports that recent bio-tech developments could lead to 'Matrix'-style technologies that would allow the human brain to interact with info... just as a computer would interact with a keyboard and flash drive.

Among these developments is Niel Birbaumer's research at Germany's University of Tubingen which suggests that, by magnetically stimulating the cortex and then mapping neuron activity, experts could activate particular memories in a subject (a potential boon for those with Alzheimer's). In addition, researchers at U.S.C. and Wake Forest are developing an artificial hippocampus that could, theoretically, one day enable Alzheimer's patients to create new memories. And while neuroscientists have already engineered prosthetics that are controlled by brain signals, research indicates that soon those prostheses may be able to send signals back to the brain. Not only would you be able to reach out and pet a kitten with your prosthetic hand, but you would also be able to actually feel the softness of its fur.

While researchers have already introduced bionic eyes and hands, and neural implants capable of learning, these more recent developments are particularly intriguing. It could very well be that, in the coming decades, more and more people -- particularly those who have lost brain or limb function -- could come to integrate machines into their bodies and into their very psyches. Let's just hope they don't speak with an Austrian accent and have an obsession with somebody named "John Connor." [From: Scientific American]


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