IBM computer brain simulation as complex as a cat's

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I recently posted about IBM's Big Blue supercomputer built to simulate a human brain. IBM now reports that they've used a supercomputer to simulate a brain that exceeds that of a cat's in complexity and scale, in near real-time. I, for one, welcome our new feline A.I. overlords.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

The simulation… did not exactly mimic what a real cat does in catching a mouse. But it surpassed earlier efforts that simulated the much simpler brain structure of a creature the size of a mouse.

Researchers used an IBM supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore Lab to model the movement of data through a structure with 1 billion neurons and 10 trillion synapses, which allowed them to see how information "percolates" through a system that's comparable to a feline cerebral cortex…

The work is part of a federally funded effort to study what's known as cognitive computing, starting with what IBM project manager Dharmendra Modha calls "reverse-engineering the human brain," or designing a new computer by first getting a better understanding of how the brain works.

"The brain is amazing," said Modha, a computer scientist who can wax poetic about the capabilities of human gray matter. "The brain has awe-inspiring capabilities. It can react or interact with complex, real-world environments, in a context-dependent way. And yet it consumes less power than a light bulb and it occupies less space than a two-liter bottle of soda."

"IBM announces advances toward a computer that works like a human brain" (San Jose Mercury News)

"IBM Moves Closer To Creating Computer Based on Insights From The Brain" (IBM) (Thanks, Chris Arkenberg!)