Sent to you by Sean McBride via Google Reader: IBM gets DARPA
Cognitive Computing Contract via Alex Constantine's Blacklist by Alex
Constantine on 11/19/08 The contract was just handed out to IBM, but
it's certain that cognitive computing already exists in the classified
sector. DARPA works that way.

- Art Saxophone Mouthpiece

By Daniel Terdiman
November 19, 2008

IBM and several university partners have gotten a DARPA grant to work
on a cognitive computing project designed to simulate the brain's
sensation, action, interaction, perception and cognition abilities. At
the same time, the project's leaders will be attempting to recreate the
brain's low-power consumption and size.

IBM and five university partners have been awarded a DARPA contract to
work on a cognitive computing project that will, essentially, attempt
to simulate the brain's power and efficiency.

According to Dharmendra Modha, the manager of IBM's cognitive computing
initiative, the idea is for him and his team to try to re-create the
brain's perception, cognitive, sensation, interaction, and action
abilities, while also simulating its efficient size and low-power

"The mind has an uncanny ability to integrate information from a
variety of sensors, such as sight, hearing, touch, smell and can create
categories of time, space and interrelationships effortlessly," said
Modha. "There are no computers that can even remotely approach the
capabilities of the mind. The mind arises from the wetware of the

But he and his team feel that the time has finally arrived for computer
scientists to at least begin to approach the brain's abilities. That's
because, he said, of the convergence of three things.

First, neuroscience has made incredible strides forward. Second,
supercomputing technology has reached the ability to create massive
simulations in real time. And third, nanotechnology has made it
possible to imagine creating simulated synapses, the very element of
the brain that enables it to work at speeds and efficiencies computer
scientists have so far only dreamed of.

"Together, these three trends allow us to uncover the function,
computation function of the brain," he said, "while rivaling its
remarkably low-power consumption and its small size."

The IBM project, just the first phase in DARPA's long-term contract, is
expected to last nine months.

Already, Modha said, scientists have managed to create computing tools
that have rivaled the abilities of a rat's brain.

But is it a good thing for science to try to re-create the brain's

"The questions are so technically challenging and it is so engaging at
this point to begin to put the puzzle together, and the whole part is
still not completely visible," Modha said. "I think it is premature to
worry about what if."
Things you can do from here:
- Subscribe to Alex Constantine's Blacklist using Google Reader
- Get started using Google Reader to easily keep up with all your
favorite sites

Reply via email to