Editorial Feature

Thinking like a Human – Cognitive Computing

This article was updated on the 12th September 2019.

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One of the most fascinating research areas in automated systems is the possibility of making a computer think and reason like a human being. The challenge here lies in the ability to train a computer in both technological and physiological manner. But how would it ever be possible to incorporate the physiological changes that manifest in a human brain, and mirror this in a computer system?

Imagine how the human body displays a certain reaction in response to an emotional stimulus. Normally, there is a change in behavior due to a change in the thought process (e.g., the ‘fight-or-flight’ response – a primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to fight or flee from a perceived harmful situation). With this in mind, researchers will need to test the links between computer processing and the human brain.

Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE)

One particular milestone may be achieved by IBM corporations in the hope that ‘two minds meet as one’. This project, named the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE), is being worked on by researchers at IBM with additional research teams from Columbia University, Cornell University, University of California, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Without question, the human brain is the most sophisticated network system. Even if the SyNAPSE project, funded by DARPA, eventually reveals a model close to what humans have evolved with, there is still the question of how this chip would learn behavior and age.

IBM have revealed that they have engineered two prototype chips that can process incoming data the same way a human brain interprets and responds to external stimuli or physiological change. The same chips are now powering personal computers. According to the research team at IBM, these chips demonstrate the need for computers to perform multiple tasks simultaneously with varying input stimuli.

Why is this chip system going to be so important? A chip that, if compared to the human brain, can process extremely large amounts of data and can problem solve, certainly becomes gold dust for corporations that require a system performing large data-crunching tasks; which is almost every large corporation nowadays.

One thing to keep in mind regarding this future invention is that we are talking about real-time input; and this is going to be one of the biggest hurdles for the research team to establish. The real question is how a computer will simultaneously process data as it receives it, intuitively. This trial and error technique will involve sophisticated algorithms and silicon circuitry and will move scientists one step closer in training a computer to learn through experience. The following video explains how computer brains may rival the functionality of the human brain.

One particular milestone may be achieved by IBM corporations in the hope that ‘two minds meet as one’. This project, named the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE), is being worked on by researchers at IBM with additional research teams from Columbia University, Cornell University, University of California, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Without question, the human brain is the most sophisticated network system. Even if the SyNAPSE project, funded by DARPA, eventually reveals a model close to what humans have evolved with, there is still the question of how this chip would learn behavior and age.

IBM have revealed that they have engineered two prototype chips that can process incoming data the same way a human brain interprets and responds to external stimuli or physiological change. The same chips are now powering personal computers. According to the research team at IBM, these chips demonstrate the need for computers to perform multiple tasks simultaneously with varying input stimuli.

Why is this chip system going to be so important? A chip that, if compared to the human brain, can process extremely large amounts of data and can problem solve, certainly becomes gold dust for corporations that require a system performing large data-crunching tasks; which is almost every large corporation nowadays.

One thing to keep in mind regarding this future invention is that we are talking about real-time input; and this is going to be one of the biggest hurdles for the research team to establish. The real question is how a computer will simultaneously process data as it receives it, intuitively. This trial and error technique will involve sophisticated algorithms and silicon circuitry and will move scientists one step closer in training a computer to learn through experience. The following video explains how computer brains may rival the functionality of the human brain.

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