Radio

Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows

 

 

Random
Computer Chip Modeled On A Living Brain Can Remember - And Learn
August 19, 2011
submit to reddit

Remember Watson, the IBM computer that beat Jeopardy's greatest champions? It looks like he's about to get a big brother. IBM and the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have teamed up to create two working prototypes of a "neurosynaptic chip," which is based on the human brain. And get this: IBM says the chips are capable of remembering their own actions and learning from them.

The details of the technology are confusing for those of us without a Ph.D. in computer science, but the basic idea is this: by modeling the chip on the brain, you get much more efficient and powerful information transfer. You also get a system that can adapt and learn based on the information that's flowing through it - sections of the chip will actually change to take on new roles when needed, just like sections of our brains do.

These prototypes represent the first two phases of a longer project, and they don't actually work like the human brain yet. But the scientists working on it believe this technology could one day turn computing on its head. Dharmendra Modha, the principal investigator on the project, says "the computers we have today are more like calculators. We want to make something more like the brain." As exciting as that sounds, let's hope this isn't the first step toward Skynet becoming self-aware.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.