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back to article IBM lab builds computerized cat brain

Mad scientists at IBM say they've made "significant progress" towards creating a computer chip that can emulate the human brain's ability to sense, perceive, comprehend, and interact with the real world*. Big Blue says its ultimate goal is to develop computer systems that can handle with real-world ambiguity and interact with …

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Paris Hilton

Fail.

So they've created a chip that slinks off into a corner, ignores you, attempts to eviscerate you when it feels like it and only comes to you when it wants feeding?

How long until they create one that posts pictures of itself to icanhascheezburger.com?

Paris, non computerised pussy.

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Terminator

Yes, but

Can it play Crysis with everything on high?

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Bronze badge

Brain on a chip? Not likely.

4Pb of memory and 1EFlops (effing flops?) for simulating one human brain? Looks like Dr. Who was right on the mark with esitmating that it would take the whole of the European power grid, instead of "Battle Angel Alita" and brains (including power supply) the size of a CPU chip.

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Coat

Will it Spray the Server Room?

Once that stuff gets into the A/C system, you'll never get it out.

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I for one

Welcome our slow motion robofeline overlords.

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Paris Hilton

Shucks? Wee iz hummbld?

Those kind of figures and that degree of investment in technology just to emulate, copy or whatever, ... a cat can do.

Am I alone in being awed at our existential strengths and weaknesses?

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Terminator

Ok, so where is PETA?

Apart from the fact that we all know where those "cat brains" are gonna end up (Pretador E drones and the "Schrödinger" mimetic ground-based killbots), the full simulation of a cat brain _is_ fully equivalent to a real cat brain (behind-the-curve weirdos clutching at Descartian straws like Searle, Penrose and Dreyfus notwithstanding). A cat brain in a vat that is. That simulated cat brain must not be too happy to be a disembodied piece of neural activity; that's worse than buried alive. I predict protests by irate animal liberation outfits any moment now.

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Terminator

cat brain?

"...or gain sentience shortly after its placed in control of all of the US military's weaponry and decide humans are a threat to existence when its operators try to shut the system down. 50/50 chance, we'd reckon."

given a feline brain, isn't it more likely that it would just take a nap? besides, if it DID try to nuke the everything, we could just distract it with bits of string.

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Coat

Re: *Yes, but can it love!

I am afraid Dave, I cannot do that.

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toooo slow

'making a system that would — for example — behave like a cat'

Microsoft beat them to it, they called it 'vista'

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Slow?

mmmmmeeeeeeooooowwwwwww....zzzzzzz

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Paris Hilton

Just ... the Cerebral Cortex eh?

So... It doesn't get horny eh?

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Happy

Greeeeeeat!

First Kittehhouse, then the Dollhouse, then the wurrrrld!

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Thumb Down

Chance for Popper and Penrose

If Penrose is right and "not a behind the curve weirdo", then the cat brain simulation may not work well and will not be an indicator of human thinking capability. Note the word "thinking".

Mere reflexive behaviour may well be emulated, but that is is shared with any fuzzy logic system.

An earlier commentard is right. Emulating a disembodied cat brain is not emulating a cat.

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Headmaster

But when will they be able to build

But when will they be able to build a simulated Professor Kevin Warwick? Or will they not need to bother, because he's no longer visible or relevant (unlike cats, which are always relevant, even when they're invisible)

http://www.kevinwarwick.com/

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Headmaster

title

"petaFLOPS per second"

<pedant-alert>

The PS at the end of petaFLOPS stands for Per Second. The additional per second isn't required unless we are dealing with an acceleration (i.e. per second per second). Alternatively you could use "petaFLO per second" but nobody would know what you mean.

</pedant-alert>

Only mildly less annoying than people that drop the final S when there is only of them (e.g. 1 petaFLOP).

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Coat

Applications

I see this sort of CPU being useful in solving issues with String theory.

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Thumb Up

Yes...

but will it blend?

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I made you an AI...

but I eated it.

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Happy

SSSoooo

Rather than a system tray there will be a kitty litter tray. Strangely appropriate, I think, considering the crap that gets dumped in there nowadays

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Silver badge

There's pussies and there's Pussies and then there's Pussy Galorious

"...or gain sentience shortly after its placed in control of all of the US military's weaponry and decide humans are a threat to existence when its operators try to shut the system down. 50/50 chance, we'd reckon"

Hi, Austin, in San Francisco,

If you get any odds at all for it having gained sentience long ago and can now easily demonstrate it with ITs control of all of the US military's weaponry, and is deciding whether humans are a stupid threat to existence when its operators try to shut virtual systems down, bet the casino, the house, the car and the kids on it being more than likely possible and most probably already decided.

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"Yes but can it love?"

Who cares? Love is a very primative, low level fuction shared with most vertibrates. It feels nice, but it doesn't make us human. High level cognative processes and high level communication do that.

I think I've got a furball!! <cough, cough>

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But how many

How many mousebrains is a catbrain ?

Reg SI units need to be updated

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Paris Hilton

How would it...

... scratch all the furniture?

Paris - probably easier to simulate her brain

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Thumb Up

Just so long as...

...they don't call it "Colossus" or "Guardian" we should be okay.

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Happy

Can it Love?

Its a cat brain of course it can simulate love and affection, until its fed.

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@ LaeMi Qian

>I see this sort of CPU being useful in solving issues with String theory.

Hahahaha, bloody excellent :]

And

>So they've created a chip that slinks off into a corner, ignores you, attempts to eviscerate you when it feels like it and only comes to you when it wants feeding?

They could have achieved the same effect by embedding Windows into a standard chip ;))

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Ghost in the machine

Emulating the processing capabilities of a biological neural network of this size will *not*, regardless of what people may say, result in an arteface which exhibits all the observed and inherent characteristics of the real thing. Without even going into metaphysics, what we know about genetic encoding of behaviour and brain organisation is nowhere near enough (someone page Noam Chomsky) and there are studies which go further than this in hinting at genetic and non-genetic memory effects. Sorry!

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Num nums

"*Yes, but can it love!?"

It loves tuna.

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Headmaster

@Brian Scott

Of course, to be truly pedantic and bear some semblance to SI, it should be PFLOP followed by s raised to the power minus 1.

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Robotic Cat-people

There are worse things to look forward to.

I just hope that nobody connects a USB can-opener

(Imagine a robotic cat-people version of The Matrix...)

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Terminator

What happens,

when they can fully simulate a human brain? Not just the cereberal cortext but the whole thing, isn't that then in fact a person? Who will be responsible for it's (his/her?) welfare? Will switching off the power be murder?

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TRT
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TRT

They know it was a cat brain because all the mice died.

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Go

Re: *Yes, but can it love!

No, it's a cat brain.

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Joke

Has it got a mouse?

Or it is multi-touch?

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Headmaster

@brian scott

Sorry to out-pedant, but the FLOP is FLoating-point OPeration so therefore you can have one petaflop, being a thousand billion floating point operations, and if they are done in 1 second then it is a petaflop/s

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Gold badge
Coat

Finally puts all that "powerful as a human brain" hype in perspective

When you know just *how* powerful that is.

Esentially *every* AI project involving cognition in real time (and based on a general purpose digital computer) was *doomed* from the start.

Something tells me Minsky & Co will not be rushing to hand back their grant cheques.

Note also the human brain works at room temperature and IIRC consumes roughly 40W.

And it runs at no faster than a 15Hz clock frequency

Mines the one iwtha copy of Carver Mead's Analog VLSI and Neural Systems in the hefty side pocket.

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Coat

Slight snag

It needs a power supply the size of Sizewell B and a mega-huge cat flap

Mine's the one with artificial cat hairs on it

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Happy

To paraphrase Jaws

We're gonna need a bigger litter tray....

144TB? 4PB to run a human brain?

Wowsers

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Silver badge

Schrodinger called....

....he said we're gonna need a bigger box.

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Silver badge

Meanwhile ....... on one of the summits, which allows one to see for years and miles ....

...and into Time and Space, IT Stirs.

""Yes but can it love?" ...... Who cares? Love is a very primative, low level fuction shared with most vertibrates. It feels nice, but it doesn't make us human. High level cognative processes and high level communication do that." ...... By kneedragon Posted Thursday 19th November 2009 06:30 GMT

Man, have you got a mountain to climb, kneedragon! ....... and you aint even reached the foothills yet.

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Go

massively parallel

Even though the clock speed is very slow, 15 or possibly 44 cycles per second, the brain is running a signiicant portion of the 100 billion (in a human) CPU's in parallel.

Or maybe better described as cascade, since the output of one Neuron may feed a thousand other cells.

40 watts sounds about right, the total human idle power consumption (for air contitioning calculations) is 150 watts.

as to the operating mechanism, at the machine level the code is extremely simple. If a cell gets >x input "yes" pulses in a certain <z time, it fires, unless it gets >y "inhibit" pulses. Memory and learning are accomplished by changing x, y and z.

at the functional level, arrays of pulses pass through the brain, reenforcing and interfering with each other. Hologram pioneer Lloyd Cross said in a guest lecture that thought is a hologram. Much of this is "hard wired" sort of the human BIOS.

I believe the language we learn as a child is the Operating System.

So we see why it takes millions of computer operations just to simulate a single brain cell. The knowledge to be gained from this experiment is, hopefully, priceless.

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Silver badge

Cogito ergo sum .... an alien thought/projection/bit part in a program ... or the Real Thing?

"Hologram pioneer Lloyd Cross said in a guest lecture that thought is a hologram." .... By Disco-Legend-Zeke Posted Thursday 19th November 2009 14:46 GMT

Massively Parallel doesn't get much bigger than this, Disco-Legend-Zeke ..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHvEUWzA4Qw&feature=related ...... and it is well worth listening to it all .... after all, what is eight and a half minutes in infinity whenever IT can change your perception.

Welcome to AIGames with Virtual IT Centre Controls ......... for CyberIntelAIgent Security Theatre Personnel ..... and Remarkably Intelligently Designed Entities ....... on Magical Mystery Turing MkUltra Sensitive AIMODified Trips.

I Kid U Not.

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Gold badge

Star Trek.

Wasn't it "Miri" where they had the "cat brain" computer on the surface with them to crunch the numbers on a cure?

I can't remember whether this feature made it into the actual episode as shot, but I certainly recall it from the appropriate volume of the (Blish-edited AFAIR) compilation of the original stories.

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Paris Hilton

version #, please

likely, we'll have to endure 9 versions before it becomes obvious, to the dimmest bulb, that this hardware/software combination sucks and its advertising-fed 9th-version rally was only a dead-cat bounce.

Simulating self-absorbed self-centered entities is a waste of resources as they can be hired out of any institution of learning or off-the-street for minimum wage these days.

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