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Computer chip can think like a human brain

Posted on Saturday, 9 August, 2014 | Comment icon 17 comments

IBM has been developing computers for decades. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jeff Golden
IBM has developed a sophisticated new chip that works by simulating the neurons inside the human brain.
The concept of creating a 'thinking' computer has been the dream of computer engineers and futurists for years and while this latest development doesn't quite achieve that goal it does open up the door to a whole new way of performing complex tasks using computers.

The size of a postage stamp, the new chip contains 5.4 billion transistors and is capable of simulating 1 million neurons and 256 million neural connections.

The chip can either be used to simulate the brain's processing on its own or it can be connected together with several other chips similar to how circuits are linked inside our brains.

"We have not built a brain," said study leader Dharmendra Modha. "What we have done is learn from the brain's anatomy and physiology."

Engineers are hoping that the newly developed chip will prove invaluable in the performing of complex tasks, such as facial recognition, that conventional computers tend to struggle with.

Source: Live Science | Comments (17)

Tags: IBM, Computer, Brain

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by questionmark on 9 August, 2014, 18:44
If you don't understand fully how something works, how can you 'reproduce' it? (Send it to China?) Yes, but not very well...
Comment icon #9 Posted by FlyingAngel on 9 August, 2014, 19:28
A human needs a complete 20 years of learning to become mature. I hope this "artificial brain" do not become a monster without education.
Comment icon #10 Posted by bubblykiss on 9 August, 2014, 20:33
If you don't understand fully how something works, how can you 'reproduce' it? (Send it to China?) I don't fully understand how stupid people can survive without managing to drink all of the neat and colorful stuff under the sink. And yet they keep having children.....lots and lots and lots of children.
Comment icon #11 Posted by toast on 9 August, 2014, 22:08
There is still a general problem with AI. Even if an AI device would have the capacity, or a multiple of it, of the human brain the device would not automatically be able by this capacity to associate in the way the human brain does. And the capability to associate is the key indicator of intelligence.
Comment icon #12 Posted by sam_comm on 9 August, 2014, 23:24
Interesting developpements. Not sure how far they can take it though, as the article states it's a far cry from a Human brain. I for one do not believe that our personality that makes us individuals, our consciousness, the ''me'' is necesserily the product of a flesh computer that can be only be explained by neurons, synapses and nothing more. If so, Artificial Intelligence will never be more than a mimic of the human mind. Let us see what these researchers will be able to achieve in the futur.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Nzo on 10 August, 2014, 7:31
If it thinks like a human it wont go very far. I thought we were supposed to create more advanced, better performing silicone as time goes on? Not regress and engineer obsolete chips. lol
Comment icon #14 Posted by likwidlite on 10 August, 2014, 8:13
Lets say that there is a computer with the intelligence of a human or even an animal how do we go about programming it's Instincts? For example it has been observed that animals instinctively know what food to eat, what a predator looks like, this knowledge is hard coded into them if you like. Now with an ai how do we do this and what knowledge do we give it? Do we programme it with the bias of its creator or provide it with knowledge and let it make its own mind up.
Comment icon #15 Posted by lightly on 13 August, 2014, 0:18
it's probably lying if it's saying it thinks like a human brain?
Comment icon #16 Posted by t_hunter on 13 August, 2014, 1:39
AI in itself probably will never evolve to be like a human, but if man starts to implant AI chips in the human mind then all kinds of scenarios could develop. This seems more likely to happen over the next 100 years.
Comment icon #17 Posted by questionmark on 13 August, 2014, 12:41
it's probably lying if it's saying it thinks like a human brain? Depends how you want to see it. If you want to say it simulates a few hundred neurons functioning like the ones in the human brain then yes, it thinks like a human. But it has a long way to go to achieve 100 billion neurons (which is what we assume a healthy brain has)... and I guess it will take some time before we see that in a small enough enclosure that does not need its own atomic power-plant to run.

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