First Commercial Artificial Brain?
Will 2014 be the year that computers based on biological brains finally come into their own?
(Kwabena Boahen holding a biologically inspired processor)
The first commercial version of the new kind of computer chip is scheduled to be released in 2014. Not only can it automate tasks that now require painstaking programming — for example, moving a robot’s arm smoothly and efficiently — but it can also sidestep and even tolerate errors, potentially making the term “computer crash” obsolete.
The new computing approach, already in use by some large technology companies, is based on the biological nervous system, specifically on how neurons react to stimuli and connect with other neurons to interpret information. It allows computers to absorb new information while carrying out a task, and adjust what they do based on the changing signals.
The new approach, used in both hardware and software, is being driven by the explosion of scientific knowledge about the brain. Kwabena Boahen, a computer scientist who leads Stanford’s Brains in Silicon research program, said that is also its limitation, as scientists are far from fully understanding how brains function.
“We have no clue,” he said. “I’m an engineer, and I build things. There are these highfalutin theories, but give me one that will let me build something.”
As far as I know, the earliest reference to an artificial, inorganic artificial brain Is from Edmond Hamilton's 1926 story The Metal Giants:
No doubt it was a startling proposition, to construct an artificial brain that would possess consciousness, memory, reasoning power...
...Detmold had attacked the problem from a different standpoint. It was his theory that the sensations of the nervous system are flashed to the brain as electric currents, or vibrations, and that it was the action of these vibratory currents on the brain-stuff that caused consciousness and thought. Thus, instead of trying to make simple, living cells and from them work up the complicated structure of the brain, he had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless, yet whose atomic structure he claimed was analogous to the atomic structure of a living brain. He had then applied countless different electrical vibrations to this metallic brain-stuff, and finally announced that under vibrations of certain frequencies the organ had showed faint signs of consciousness.
Via New York Times.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/28/2013)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Vint Cerf's 'Digital Dark Age' Vs. George Orwell's
'You could never consult Archival Records in a straightforward manner.'- Frank Herbert, 1984.
Data Mining Computers Detect Your Emotions
'I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset.'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1968.
Lizard Squad, Nihilistic Technofetishists For Hire
'The Modern's were mercenaries...'- William Gibson, 1984.
CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify... You give it a good look.'- Harry Harrison, 1956.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
XM82 Personal Flamethrower Now In Development
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'
Graphene Cytobot - Cyborg Bacterial Spores May Help Astronauts
'[It] had not yet objected to being made over into a portion of an electronic system... '
Delightful Plen2 Mirror Robot - The Anti-Terminator
Time for fun, Will Robinson!
LiquiGlide Will Be Everywhere
'They poured the remnants of eggs out of their frictionless cups...'
US Customs Now Doing Facial Recognition At DC Airport
Are you who you say you are?
How Many Systems In That Galactic Empire Now?
'An Empire to twenty million stellar systems...'
Petman Robot Pushes Itself To The Limit
'There was the butler robot, hard at work, his copper face expressionless...'
Coleus LED 'Skylight' Dispenses Natural Sunlight Indoors
'How do they work it so that the sky is visible at every level of the city?'
UR3 Robot At Work On Copies Of Itself
'I don't mean that you should construct this ultra-microrobot with your own fingers, of course...'
3D Printing 'Terminator T-1000-Style'
Not quite 'a mimetic polyalloy...'
Bridge-MINDER Repair Robot
'The repair robots had started out on their rounds...'
Super Ball Bot Tensegrity Robot For Solar System Exploration
'Each leg in turn acted as a pivot around which the creature whirled its body...'
Norlin Shoe Drone Robot UAV In-Store Delivery Thing
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling.'
iSkin On-Body Touch Sensors
'Three rows of four colored dots appeared on the heel of my left hand.'
Britain To Build Spaceport, First In Europe
'The space-ports at the three great cities...'
MC10 Electronics Skin Stickers
'Every diaper... a fine copper wire…'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories