Ultimate Computer Chip
An IBM creation has been hailed as a step on the road to cognitive computing. machines with human-like abilities like learning and recognition.
Ultimate Computer Chip
It has long been the ambition of computer manufacturers to find ways of building a computer to rival the thought processing power of the human mind, and it would appear that IBM have brought this a step closer to reality, having created a new generation of microchips that have very special properties indeed., so much so that their creation has been hailed as a step on the road to cognitive computing. machines with human-like abilities like learning and recognition .
IBM claim that more powerful and efficient computers, taking up less space, are likely to result from this new find, operating systems able to analyze, like the brain does, complex information from multiple sources at the same time, whilst also adapting itself by making physical changes to its own structure, while consuming low levels of power.This is achieved through the chip being made up of 256 neurons, inter-connected in the same way as those in the human brain, to simulate the way the brain works.
This was first made a possibility by the introduction, two years ago, of BlueMatter, a computer software algorithm which can replicate the connection patterns occurring with the neural net of the brain tissues, and could well lead to machines that have the ability to interact with one another as well as the environments around them. A grant of $20million to conduct further research is driving this so-called SyNAPSE project.
Dharmendra Modha, project leader , is being backed by Pentagon research arm DARPA, trying to get beyond the current computing systems von Neumann processing, because this operational method decreases in efficiency with increasing amounts of information from multiple sources, where the human brain can performs many calculations at once in different, linked locations, without using much power
We all clearly remember the Terminator series of movies, whare beleaguered humanity was at war with machines, or the mentally unstable computer HAL in 2001, so there are those who feel that making computers too much like our own brains is a dangerous undertaking, butin reality, any machine is only as good as the original programming, Bear in mind the three laws od robotics in the I, Robot series of science fiction novels by Isaac Asimov, brilliant Russian physicist and author.
It would seem highly likely that the days of the Star Trek type computer are getting ever closer, and that a real-life android like Data may be, within the next century, a reality, but one thing is certain. Progress cannot be halted, whatever the irrational fears of those who doubt, and the intelligent computer is as inevitable as the re-appearance of the sun every morning at dawn. Our best bet is to embrace the technology with open arms, and hope that the doom-sayers have got it wrong.