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Artificial Intelligence - Cat in a Box
RaakamToo many years...CanadalandRegistered Userregular
As you may now have realized, I'm pretty fond of tech stories and this one is pretty cool. Article can be found here.
Cats may retain an aura of mystery about their smug selves, but that could change with scientists using a supercomputer to simulate the the feline brain. That translates into 144 terabytes of working memory for the digital kitty mind.
IBM and Stanford University researchers modeled a cat's cerebral cortex using the Blue Gene/IP supercomputer, which currently ranks as the fourth most powerful supercomputer in the world. They had simulated a full rat brain in 2007, and 1 percent of the human cerebral cortex this year.
The simulated cat brain still runs about 100 times slower than the real thing. But PhysOrg reports that a new algorithm called BlueMatter allows IBM researchers to diagram the connections among cortical and sub-cortical places within the human brain. The team then built the cat cortex simulation consisting of 1 billion brain cells and 10 trillion learning synapses, the communication connections among neurons.
A separate team of Swiss researchers also used an IBM supercomputer for their Blue Brain project, where a digital rat brain's neurons began creating self-organizing neurological patterns. That research group hopes to simulate a human brain within 10 years.
Another more radical approach from Stanford University looks to recreate the human brain's messily chaotic system on a small device called Neurogrid. Unlike traditional supercomputers with massive energy requirements, Neurogrid might run on the human brain's power requirement of just 20 watts -- barely enough to run a dim light bulb.
So, this is rather exciting. I don't know or understand much about this topic, but the information in these articles, to the average Joe like me, amazes me. How close does this get us to a real AI? If it's running slowly now, within the next decade, it'll probably speed up. What if they manage to recreate a brain this way? So many questions, really. Would the compucat be "aware" in the same sense that a flesh and blood cat would be? Does it raise ethical and moral issues?