Mapping the entire human brain one neuron at a time, discovering its complete functionality and then simulating it in a virtual environment is one of the major benchmarks on the way to the singularity. If successful it will have wide ranging implications for a variety fields from medicine and supercomputing to neuroscience and artificial intelligence.
In this video Dharmendra Modha, manager of Cognitive Computing department at IBM and a principle investigator for a DARPA funded project called SyNAPSE, talks about his goal to build a brain-like computer which is both cheap and easy to make and, similarly to a human brain, has a very low energy consumption.
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