Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Real Artificial Brains


SyNAPSE is a DARPA-funded program to develop electronic neuromorphic machine technology that scales to biological levels. More simply stated, it is an attempt to build a new kind of computer with similar form and function to the mammalian brain. Such artificial brains would be used to build robots whose intelligence matches that of mice and cats.

SyNAPSE is a backronym standing for Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics. It started in 2008 and as of January 2013 has received $102.6 million in funding. It is scheduled to run until around 2016. The project is primarily contracted to IBM and HRL who in turn subcontract parts of the research to various US universities.

The ultimate aim is to build an electronic microprocessor system that matches a mammalian brain in function, size, and power consumption. It should recreate 10 billion neurons, 100 trillion synapses, consume one kilowatt (same as a small electric heater), and occupy less than two liters of space.

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