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news from around the web from people addicted to tech

Mind Over Matter or Matter Over Mind?

by Jason Patocka April 5, 2010

Reverse engineering of the brain is providing some answers in the hot field of Artificial General Intelligence. Previously we highlighted efforts with IBM’s Bluebrain project, but also of note is the work that Palm computing founder and TED darling Jeff Hawkins is doing with his work on Hierarchical Temporal Memory.

OMG Who Did Your Eyes?

by Jason Patocka March 23, 2010

Early 21st century convergence in cellular systems biology, bio-materials engineering, and regenerative medicine demonstrate exciting first steps in building functional organs.  Ultimately, these advancements would potentially allow disabled people to replace their prosthetic or faulty organs with actual limbs and tissue.  Visionary aspirations for this technology foresee an age of full blown bionics, where technology inspired by Neuromancer or Blade Runner becomes part of daily life, and helps cure currently untreatable diseases.

IBM’s Bluebrain

by Jason Patocka February 17, 2010

Supercomputing is awesome, and super-computed models of complex systems is something we ultratech geeks salivate over. This is especially true when discussing methods to solve the ever so elusive structural mysteries of one the most complicated thing in the cosmos – the human mind.

IBM’s Blue Brain project ambitiously seeks to re-create a model of the human brain, neuron per neuron, synapse per synapse entirely* in silico*. Recently they’ve managed to model a variety of interesting neural networks like cortical columns in mice, and recently published results of simulations that detailed aspects of networked cat neurophysiology. Filmaker Noah Hutton documents this ambitious project in this short film clip from his forthcoming documentary on the project.

Bluebrain | Year One from Couple 3 Films on Vimeo.

Ambitious as this project is, its not without controversy. IEEE Spectrum ran a piecea couple of months back that puts this research into context. Still, its hard not to basque in the radiance of something as profound as building a virtual neural architecture and its implications for medicine, AI, and the eternally sexy topic of data infrastructure.

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