IBM produces first working chips modeled on the human brain

“IBM has been shipping computers for more than 65 years, and it is finally on the verge of creating a true electronic brain,” Dean Takahashi reports for VentureBeat.

“Big Blue is announcing today that it, along with four universities and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), have created the basic design of an experimental computer chip that emulates the way the brain processes information,” Takahashi reports. “IBM’s so-called cognitive computing chips could one day simulate and emulate the brain’s ability to sense, perceive, interact and recognize — all tasks that humans can currently do much better than computers can.”

Advertisement: Limited Time: Students, Parents and Faculty save up to $200 on a new Mac.

Takahashi reports, “If it eventually leads to commercial brain-like chips, the project could turn computing on its head, overturning the conventional style of computing that has ruled since the dawn of the information age and replacing it with something that is much more like a thinking artificial brain. The eventual applications could have a huge impact on business, science and government.”

Much more in the full article, including many videos, here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line… Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.


[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. MacDailyNews Take: The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line… Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

    Perfect. Really. 😀

          1. No, it was in the part of the 2nd Terminator movie when Sarah and John are driving into the Mexican desert to get their weapons. It’s on the way that Ahhhnuld informs them of how Skynet took over the world. I still think Terminators were designed from the ground up by Austrian homoerotic robotics engineers. 😉

  2. There is a famous old science-fiction short story, where they hook up all the computers in the galaxy and ask it some questions that no single computer alone could answer. They get to the killer question, “Is there a God?” As they await the answer, they realize what they’ve done, just as the computer replies “Now there is,” and destroys the power switch.

    1. Hank,

      I love the computer in the Mike McAdams books – they ask it what’s the great answer to the universe. Computers says it will take 20 years. 20 years later it answers, “32” or something.

    2. Found the story …
      “Answer” by Fredric Brown (October 29, 1906 – March 11, 1972.)

      Dwan Ev ceremoniously soldered the final connection with gold. The eyes of a dozen television cameras watched him and the subether bore throughout the universe a dozen pictures of what he was doing.

      He straightened and nodded to Dwar Reyn, then moved to a position beside the switch that would complete the contact when he threw it. The switch that would connect, all at once, all of the monster computing machines of all the populated planets in the universe — ninety-six billion planets — into the supercircuit that would connect them all into one supercalculator, one cybernetics machine that would combine all the knowledge of all the galaxies.

      Dwar Reyn spoke briefly to the watching and listening trillions. Then after a moment’s silence he said, “Now, Dwar Ev.”

      Dwar Ev threw the switch. There was a mighty hum, the surge of power from ninety-six billion planets. Lights flashed and quieted along the miles-long panel.

      Dwar Ev stepped back and drew a deep breath. “The honor of asking the first question is yours, Dwar Reyn.”

      “Thank you,” said Dwar Reyn. “It shall be a question which no single cybernetics machine has been able to answer.”
      He turned to face the machine. “Is there a God?”

      The mighty voice answered without hesitation, without the clicking of a single relay.

      “Yes, now there is a God.”

      Sudden fear flashed on the face of Dwar Ev. He leaped to grab the switch.

      A bolt of lightning from the cloudless sky struck him down and fused the switch shut.

  3. So how is the U. S. Patent Office going to respond to an application to patent circuits in the human brain?

    I guess the same way they will respond to Apple’s request to get a patent on the creative process.

  4. Like HP, Motorola, etc, IBM is a manufacturing has been. If IBM chips were that great why aren’t they powering Apple computers today? A few edge case studies does not a fabrication plant make. The only thing keeping IBM alive today is business consulting. I can see where the hot air came from on this one.

      1. The most powerful computer in the world? Are you referring to the Fujitsu K in japan, the NUDDT YH cluster in China, or the Cray XT5 at Oak Ridge (US)?
        If you were referring to iBM’s Deep Blue you are hopelessly mired in the previous millennium. (it doesn’t even appear on the rankings list anymore)
        And you should do something about that cough, it sounds bad.

          1. That why they (those who use supercomputers) have created standards and a rankings list. IBM isn’t even in the same league as the top machines in any recognized metric.

        1. I don’t think you copied entirely the right words from WikiPedia. I was including distributed systems. Deep blue? Seriously? You think that’s the most powerful computer IBM ever created? The fact that was dismantled some time ago didn’t clue you in to the fact that it wasn’t what I was talking about?

    1. It’s foolish to think Apple only chooses chips based on raw computing power. Different chips for different purposes. IBM chips power all 3 major video game consoles.

      1. Actually that’s not really true, the same things that appeal to Apple, (computing power, but more importantly computing power per watt) and parallel scalability efficiency also appeal to massively parallel machines (all the supercomputers are massively parallel arrays of processors)

        AND… I am not sure about your logic regarding the game console’s. I don’t think you can categorize the cell as an “IBM processor” Add to that the MAJOR reason that MS went PPC was to stop the hacking of Xboxes into wintel PC’s (the old intel x-box could easily be hacked and made into a (fairly) powerful & cheap (and remember heavily MS subsidized) PC.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.