By Jennifer Booton
Imagine Watson with reason and better communication skills.
The Watson supercomputer may be able to beat reigning Jeopardy champions, but scientists at IBM (IBM) are developing new, super-smart computer chips designed from the human brain — and that might ultimately prove much more impressive.
These new silicon “neurosynaptic chips,” which will be fed using about the same amount of energy it takes to power a light bulb, will fuel a software ecosystem that researchers hope will one day enable a new generation of apps that mimic the human brain’s abilities of sensory perception, action and cognition.
It’s akin to giving sensors like microphones and speakers brains of their own, allowing them to consume data to be processed through trillions of synapses and neurons in a way that allows them to draw intelligent conclusions.