Aug 29, 2011

IBM Produces First ‘Brain Chips’

Arnold FruchtenbaumBy Arno Froese
Midnight Call Ministries

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IBM has developed a microprocessor which it claims comes closer than ever to replicating the human brain.

The system is capable of “rewiring” its connections as it encounters new information, similar to the way biological synapses work.

IBM has unveiled a new experimental computer chip that it says mimics the human brain in that it perceives, acts and even thinks.Researchers believe that by replicating that feature, the technology could start to learn.

Cognitive computers may eventually be used for understanding human behavior as well as environmental monitoring.

Dharmendra Modha, IBM’s project leader, explained that they were trying to recreate aspects of the mind such as emotion, perception, sensation and cognition by “reverse engineering the brain.”

The SyNAPSE system uses two prototype “neurosynaptic computing chips.” Both have 256 computational cores, which the scientists described as the electronic equivalent of neurons.

IBM has not released exact details of how its SyNAPSE processor works, but Dr. Richard Cooper, a reader in cognitive science at Birkbeck, University of London said that it likely replicated physical connections using a “virtual machine.”

Instead of stronger and weaker links, such a system would simply remember how much “attention” to pay to each signal and alter that depending on new experiences.

“Part of the trick is the learning algorithm — how should you turn those volumes up and down,” said Dr. Cooper.

However, Dr. Mark Bishop, professor of cognitive computing at Goldsmiths, was more cautious.

“[I] understand cognition to be something over and above a process simulated by the execution of mere computations, [and] see such claims as verging on the magical,” he said (, 18 August 2011).
Scientists try desperately to “marry” machines with man. Way back in olden times, the Psalmist wrote about manmade products:
“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them” (Psalm 115:4-8).
Granted, this “brain chip” is not intended to be an idol, but in the end, it will be. This is documented in Revelation 13:14,
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”

Related Links
The Rise of the Thinking Machine - HPC Wire
IBM, DARPA, and university researchers create basic design for computer chip that works like the brain - Slash Gear
Image of Beast - (Tony Garland)
IBM Brings Brain Power to Experimental Chips - PC World
SyNAPSE: IBM Cognitive Computing Project - Overview