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> DARPA Creating Chip that mimics the brain, An Artificial Intelligence for the military
BrainStim
post Mar 15, 2008, 08:58 AM
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Wired Blog
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The Pentagon's mad science division is in a hurry to start making brains-on-a-chip. According to DARPA's recently-released budget, the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program isn't set to being until the next fiscal year. But the agency is already ramping up preparation for the program, which promises to "develop a brain inspired electronic 'chip' that mimics that function, size, and power consumption of a biological cortex."

DARPA is holding a workshop next month for potential SyNAPSE researchers. And its providing a preview of just how challenging it'll be, to piece together a faux brain.


DARPA Wired Blog
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Earlier this week, DARPA, the Defense Department's way-out research arm, submitted its $3.29 billion budget for the 2009 fiscal year. In it are dozens of new programs -- one more far-reaching than the next.

A particularly wild project is Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics, or SyNAPSE. "The program will develop a brain inspired electronic 'chip' that mimics that function, size, and power consumption of a biological cortex," DARPA promises us. "If successful, the program will provide the foundations for functional machines to supplement humans in many of the most demanding situations faced by warfighters today" -- like getting usable information out of video feeds, and starting tasks. The agency is looking to spend $3 million next year, to get started on its faux brain effort. My guess is that it will take considerably more cash to get it done.


DARPA Website
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The goals and milestones of the DARPA SyNAPSE program will be specified in an anticipated Broad Agency Announcement. Briefly, the vision for the anticipated DARPA SyNAPSE program is to enable electronic neuromorphic machine technology that is scalable to biological levels. As compared to biological systems, today's intelligent machines are less efficient by a factor of one million to one billion in real world, complex environments. The key to achieving the vision of the SyNAPSE program will be an unprecedented multidisciplinary approach that coordinates aggressive technology development in the following technical areas: 1) Hardware; 2) Architecture; 3) Simulation; and 4) Environment. Hardware includes neuromorphic electronics with novel, high density, plastic, synaptic components; Architecture includes neuromorphic design from microcircuits to complete system; Simulation includes large-scale digital simulation of neuromorphic circuits and functional neuromorphic systems; and Environment includes virtual training, testing and benchmarking for neuromorphic systems. These technology areas as well as the overall goals and milestones of the anticipated program will be addressed at the SyNAPSE Proposer's Day Workshop and will also be described in an anticipated Broad Agency Announcement. The SyNAPSE Proposer's Day Workshop is intended to facilitate the formation of teams with the necessary expertise to respond to the anticipated SyNAPSE BAA.
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Art Deco
post May 07, 2008, 10:02 AM
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Unfortunately, the first full AI is quite likely to be funded and developed by the military. And the military will have goals for the project that the rest of us probably won't like. An artificially intelligent psychopath, anyone?
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Rick
post May 08, 2008, 11:58 AM
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And armed with powerful weapons. We need to pay attention here.
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Joesus
post May 08, 2008, 07:39 PM
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Is it likely the public would be privy to such information?...
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Rick
post May 09, 2008, 03:25 PM
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Yes, at first. Later it will be too late.
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BrainStim
post Sep 02, 2008, 09:43 AM
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The press release about this project.

They want to make it at a cat level of intelligence.

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HRL Laboratories, LLC, will begin pioneering research to develop electronics that will simulate the cognitive capabilities and efficiencies of the biological brain.

The daunting undertaking is part of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) SyNAPSE, or Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics, program. HRL will lead a group of industry and university research laboratories with expertise in core areas of neuro and cognitive science in the groundbreaking research.

Despite exponential advances in computing technology over the last decade, the limitations of hardware and architecture prohibit computers from functioning independently in real-world scenarios. The goal of the SyNAPSE program is to bridge biology and electronics and establish a new paradigm for creating more intelligent machines that can interact with, react to, and actually learn from their environments.

"Two things are enabling us to establish this new paradigm," said Dr. Narayan Srinivasa, SyNAPSE Program Manager and Senior Scientist in HRL's Information and System Sciences Office. "First is the advancement in microelectronics, which provides us greater density and speed at much lower power consumption than ever before. The other is a better understanding of neuroscience and how the brain functions at the synaptic, neuronal, network, and system levels."

The HRL team's ultimate goal is to build a low-power, compact electronic chip combining a novel analog circuit design and a neuroscience-inspired architecture that can address a wide range of cognitive abilities--perception, planning, decision making, and motor control. In the initial two phases of the SyNAPSE program, the team will translate the neuronal and synaptic functions of the biological cortex into similar microelectronic functions.

The first nine-month phase of the program will focus on designing, fabricating, and characterizing synaptic and neural elements and combining them into a high-density, interconnecting microelectronic "fabric," which will be incorporated into a more complex system-level fabric design. The team will also develop simulation methods that integrate neural brain models with a virtual environment in which to test a sequence of tasks, including visual perception, planning, navigation and various types of learning.

In the following 15-month phase, HRL will combine the synaptic and neural elements to fabricate and demonstrate "cortical microcircuits" that can model various lower-level brain functions and actually "learn" by interacting with the environment. During this phase, extensive simulations and further testing will occur to verify the "behavioral competence" of the brain models.

"The follow-on phases of the project will create a technology that functions like the brain of a cat, which comprises 108 neurons and 1012 synapses," Srinivasa said. "The human brain has roughly 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses."

HRL has been a champion of developing more functional intelligent systems, which have myriad applications for the military and civilian populations. Previously, HRL participated in DARPA's Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures (BICA) program, in which scientists designed brain models and architectures and used them to develop robust algorithms for perception, planning and motor control. HRL is currently participating in DARPA's Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CT2WS) program, which will develop a bio-inspired threat-warning device that will enable fighting forces to rapidly detect and assess long- and short-range threats. HRL is also a participant in DARPA's Urban Reasoning and Geospatial Exploitation Technology (URGENT) program, which will develop a revolutionary system for urban combat that includes a bio-inspired 3D object-recognition capability.

HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California (www.hrl.com) is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.
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Rick
post Sep 02, 2008, 11:44 AM
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With only 108 neurons they have a long way to go. I think the word "billion" belongs in in that paragraph somewhere.
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BrainStim
post Sep 02, 2008, 07:27 PM
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I think that should read 10^8 neurons and 10^12 synapses. Its just a typo in the article.

A human brain has 10^11 neurons and 10^15. They just forgot to add the power thing.
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Rick
post Sep 03, 2008, 06:14 AM
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That's more like it!
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lcsglvr
post Sep 25, 2008, 07:29 AM
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I hope people realize that we have no clue about the brain. One of the most studied pieces of tissue in the brain is the hippocampus, but yet we still have no clue what it does. We think we know it's involved in memory, learning, andn even maybe some other cognitive functions. What type of memory? How does it work?

Please, scientists are not even close to making a brain. It is way too complicated.
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Rick
post Sep 25, 2008, 02:48 PM
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Shhh! You might jeopardize their research grants!
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lcsglvr
post Oct 03, 2008, 11:06 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Sep 25, 2008, 06:48 PM) *

Shhh! You might jeopardize their research grants!


Damn! Sorry, Rick.
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batman009
post Jun 03, 2009, 11:22 PM
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Hello all,

Just want to say thank you for such a wonderful information, it was really cool!

Thanks
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batman009
post Jun 03, 2009, 11:22 PM
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sorry for double post
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Sunny
post Jul 29, 2009, 05:07 PM
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Anything reported on is likely to be at least "20 years behind" (figure of speech) of what they've really got.
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