Cognitive Computing Beyond machines - new ways of thinking

Cognitive Computing Beyond machines - new ways of thinking

So far, with some small exceptions of mostly academic work on the use of Artificial Intelligence in electric power systems protection and control, the IEDs in the substations and the software in the substation or system level computers have been doing exactly what the software developer tells them to do. Now this will probably change as a result of IBM's significant progress towards creating a computer system that simulates and emulates the brain’s abilities for sensation, perception, action, interaction and cognition, while rivaling the brain’s low power and energy consumption and compact size.  The cognitive computing team, led by IBM Research, has achieved significant advances in large-scale cortical simulation and a new algorithm that synthesizes neurological data -- two major milestones that indicate the feasibility of building a cognitive computing chip.

Scientists, at IBM Research - Almaden, in collaboration with colleagues from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, have performed the first near real-time cortical simulation of the brain that exceeds the scale of a cat cortex and contains 1 billion spiking neurons and 10 trillion individual learning synapses. 
Additionally, in collaboration with researchers from Stanford University, IBM scientists have developed an algorithm that exploits the Blue Gene® supercomputing architecture in order to noninvasively measure and map the connections between all cortical and sub-cortical locations within the human brain using magnetic resonance diffusion weighted imaging. Mapping the wiring diagram of the brain is crucial to untangling its vast communication network and understanding how it represents and processes information.

These advancements will provide a unique workbench for exploring the computational dynamics of the brain, and stand to move the team closer to its goal of building a compact, low-power synaptronic chip using nanotechnology and advances in phase change memory and magnetic tunnel junctions. The team’s work stands to break the mold of conventional von Neumann computing, in order to meet the system requirements of the instrumented and interconnected world of tomorrow, including the smart electric power grid.

For more information visit:      www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/business_analytics/article/cognitive_computing.html