Cyberpunk Review » IBM’s New Chip Thinks For Itself.

August 22, 2011

IBM’s New Chip Thinks For Itself.

Source: IBM via Engadget and VentureBeat

Today (18-Aug-2011), IBM researchers unveiled a new generation of experimental computer chips designed to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition. The technology could yield many orders of magnitude less power consumption and space than used in today’s computers.

This is your brain on a chip. Last Thursday IBM announced the development of a new computer chip that works like a human brain (press release here). Not content with pwning Jeopardy!, Big Blue is now looking to take artificial intelligence to the next level… or at least another step closer to human.

The chips are part of the DARPA funded project SyNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics) and their production is completion of phase one.

Dharmendra Modha (Venture Beat pic)

Dharmendra Modha, principal investigator: “This is the seed for a new generation of computers, using a combination of supercomputing, neuroscience, and nanotechnology,” Modha said in an interview with VentureBeat. ”The computers we have today are more like calculators. We want to make something like the brain. It is a sharp departure from the past.”


Think about this. The idea behind the SyNAPSE project is to create computers with human-like abilities; Computer chips that accurately mimics the operations of the brain. IBM’s chips can do things like navigate and identify objects and patterns, but the ultimate goal would be to analyze more complex systems and learn. Yes, learn. All while using less power than current technologies can.

But this is a DARPA project. DARPA, as in the Mad Scientist division of America’s DoD. The same people who made the Internet possible. Most likely, this is being developed for some sort of military analysis and strategy generation system, like a high-stakes chess machine.

But isn’t that how Skynet started?

Watson on Jeopardy!

Alex Trebek: “The answer: The human race… Watson”
Watson: “What is screwed?”
Alex: “Correct!”

This post has been filed under Rise of the Robots, News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.


August 22, 2011

Fatih said:

I’m curious how they are going to program it…even they say “fuction like human brain” i quess there still be lots of limitations by its software…

August 23, 2011

0m1kr0n said:

Likelihood it’ll end up in military analyses frameworks: very likely

It has no application in consumer devices..except in maybe elderly care taking which doesn’t generate much revenue..

August 24, 2011

Traquemort said:

think about that chip ina system making it a complete AI and being able to take care of your house or even ride your car so you can concentrate yourself on things less futile than driving. This chips might be the start of new age in ways we can not imagine yet. But there’s a lot of things they can do with that chip. Think about it serioulsly… It could even answer you!!! They can put it in your body so you have it IN you! Common guys, you know how much potentisal there is in that chip, but do we know how much it can be dangerous?

0m1kr0n said:

Decision making requires knowledge which requires stored data.

The D.O.T. won’t be allowing automated transport off railways anytime soon, so like I said, government applications..mostly guidance systems, simulations, and automated analyses..

August 26, 2011

Sean said:

I find myself with a sudden dislike of the tongue-in-cheek paranoia behind every news about AI development, that blinds us from actually thinking about possible scenarios.
“Humanity is screwed”? I don’t think so. What i think is, slaves will remain slaves, and the intellectual elites will get a new player class.
Politicians, CEOs, exceptional individuals and now AI, too.
Wait, isn’t that what Gibson wrote about? Damn, i’m so unoriginal.

September 12, 2011

SSJKamui said:

I don’t think this will cause a “rise of the machines”. Concepts like Artificial Neural Networks are in fact rather old and there still didn’t happen a catastrophe with that.

October 22, 2011

Mainframe said:

applications outside of the military that are not run by the government that come to mind:

Stock trading, true computers already do this, but in a comparatively crude manner that focus on quantity over quality

Video gaming, naturally chess would be the first choice before it move into more proprietary genres, notably military simulation games such as real time strategy, and first person shooters

likely factory operations, factories can already run over the weekend without human oversight, chips like these could make factories totally automated.

Automated phone trees would become more intuitive, and would refer to human operators less often.

Internet advertising would also become much more intuitive, as well as other programs that track an individuals behavior, these chips would learn rather then calculate statistics.

Of course I am projecting into the future, but those were my thoughts about it right off the bat.

November 13, 2011

Drasky Vanderhoff said:

Why there is no one taking the stake and promoting human bioengineering enhancement instead of more outside elements that make us weaker and more and more dependent ?

I’m afraid of both futures of the Singularity : I don’t want to be a baby carried by machines, i want to be empowered and capable of do everything and keep improve on myself without buying stuff or require a gadget that solve my problems…

Can we accept that we are outdated and we need put our effort on humanity ?

November 30, 2011

Digaj said:

Hi, check out this: (related)

May 8, 2012

sheepmafia said:

Not that i am educated on the subject, or any subject for that matter, isnt this something to be handled with extreme care? a machines prescicion, mixed with human understanding, without certain human “bounderies” might prove dangerous. Its far to early to say, and a pretty far-fetched “matrix” theory, and i know its been stated a 100 times before, but we should still keep this in mind, as a species

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