|With this latest IBM effort, it will be a question of whether the Cyberphone is there to help the person, or the person is there to help the Cyberphone. bits.blogs.nytimes.com Symbiosis is popular in nature, so that's the likely way it goes. For a while anyway, until the human component becomes like mitochondria in the human body = just a minor functionary in the big picture: August 18, 2011, 1:00 AMI.B.M. Announces Brainy Computer ChipBy STEVE LOHR|
Since the early days in the 1940s, computers have routinely been described as “brains” — giant brains or mathematical brains or electronic brains. Scientists and engineers often cringed at the distorting simplification, but the popular label stuck.
IBMDharmendra Modha, an I.B.M. researcher, is the leader of the project to create cognitive computer chips.
Wait long enough, it seems, and science catches up with the metaphor. The field of “cognitive computing” is making enough progress that the brain analogy is becoming more apt. I.B.M. researchers are announcing on Thursday two working prototype cognitive computer chips.
The chip designs are the result of a three-year project involving I.B.M. and university researchers, supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The academic collaborators are at Columbia University, Cornell University, the University of California, Merced and the University of Wisconsin.
The results to date have been sufficiently encouraging that Darpa is announcing on Thursday that it will commit an additional $21 million to the project, the third round of government funding, which brings the total to $41 million.
The cognitive chips are massively parallel microprocessors that consume very little power. But they also have a fundamentally different design. The two prototype semiconductor cores each has 256 neuronlike nodes. One core is linked to 262,144 synapselike memory modules, while the other is linked to 65,536 such memory synapses.
The researchers call the design a “neurosynaptic core.”
“This is a critical shift away from today’s Von Neumann computing,” said Dharmendra Modha, an I.B.M. researcher who is the project leader. He is referring to the design and step-by-step sequential methods used in current computers, named after the mathematician John Von Neumann.
The new design, Mr. Modha said, should lead to chips suited for tasks that are difficult for computers like pattern recognition. They can learn on their own. “We aren’t there yet, but before long these chips will be able to rewire themselves on the fly,” he said.
Such cognitive chips, Mr. Modha added, will be adept at absorbing and interpreting huge amounts of data from increasingly low-cost digital sensors. For example, cognitive computers — using sensor measurements of air and water temperature, ocean tides, wind patterns and atmospheric pressure — could make more timely and accurate predictions of tsunamis and hurricanes, he said. ... continued...
Studying for exams will be easy = just plug in a memory module or access some cloud database.