The intriguing results of IBM’s new experimental chip have come out at present. The new technology, called “cognitive computing chips,” acts like the human brain; performing functions typically associated with the brain including the ability to perceive, to act and to perform mental processes. By helping computers absorb information and learn like humans, these chips essentially replicate the brain’s decision making function. Constructed with digital silicon circuits, just two prototypes were created during the development phase.
The cognitive chip is all about learning new ideas and this is where the huge disparity amid the present chip and the cognitive lies. Inspired by neurobiology, the cognitive chip will have the ability to learn from past experience, make assumptions and associations, as well as remember and learn from previous outcomes. It mimics the brains synaptic plasticity, which is one of the important neurochemical foundations of learning and memory.
As Mr. Dharmendra Modha, the IBM Research Project leader, commented, “Future applications of computing will increasingly demand functionality that is not efficiently delivered by the traditional architecture.”
“These chips are another significant step in the evolution of computers from calculators to learning systems, signaling the beginning of a new generation of computers and their applications in business, science and government,” he added.
DARPA, a tech arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, has funded IBM’s new innovation, with an additional $21 million, for further research and development. But what exactly will be the use of such chips? IBM believes, they could aid in functions like detecting tsunamis, preventing traffic accidents, and distinguishing rotten grocery products by smell. The question is, “Is the world ready for a computer chip that acts like the human brain?”