Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An artificial cat-level brain within 10 years?

I’ve long said that they day we create an artificial mind comparable to a hamster’s we’re toast. I have hoped this thesis wouldn’t be tested in my life-span …

It’s plenty devious, but we still can’t get it to follow orders worth a damn | Good Morning Silicon Valley

DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, is quietly creeping toward its goal of creating an artificial brainHRL Laboratories, a joint venture of Boeing and General Motors … will spearhead the effort to build a chip with the “function, size, and power consumption” of a cat’s cortex within the next 10 years ..

… According to the news release, spotted by Wired’s Noah Shachtman before it was pulled, the goal is to build a chip with “neuroscience-inspired architecture that can address a wide range of cognitive abilities — perception, planning, decision making, and motor control.” “The first nine-month phase of the program will focus on designing, fabricating, and characterizing synaptic and neural elements and combining them into a high-density, interconnecting microelectronic ‘fabric,’ which will be incorporated into a more complex system-level fabric design,” according to the release. “In the following 15-month phase, HRL will combine the synaptic and neural elements to fabricate and demonstrate ‘cortical microcircuits’ that can model various lower-level brain functions and actually ‘learn’ by interacting with the environment…

Thank Google the partners are GM and Boeing. If they were, say, Google and Intel I’d be more concerned.

There’s a less than 1% chance they’ll succeed at this.


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