Tuesday, March 24, 2009

AI: Mapping the brain

This is a little more disconcerting to me than a lot of other similar projects. Mostly, people who are advocating this approach seem scattered and, at best, in the very early stages of their approach (except for the gentleman over at IBM).

FTA: It’s a strong claim, but Meier is coordinating the EU-supported FACETS project which brings together scientists from 15 institutions in seven countries to do just that. Inspired by research in neuroscience, they are building a ‘neural’ computer that will work just like the brain but on a much smaller scale.


How does it do that? Nobody yet knows, but a team within FACETS is completing an exhaustive study of brain cells – neurons – to find out exactly how they work, how they connect to each other and how the network can ‘learn’ to do new things.

Luckily, the admit that they too are also in the early stages, but they seem more organized, they seem to have a better plan and, well, they seem to be taking a combination approach- not trying to simulate the brain directly, nor trying to build analogs for the brain a piece at a time, but cobbling the two methods together.

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