Dharmendra Modha is manager of cognitive computing at IBM Research - Almaden where his goal is to “engineer the mind by reverse engineering the brain.” Modha has already made important contributions to present day computing paradigms, having previously pioneered IBM’s adaptive cache algorithms for its enterprise storage controllers and its eClassifier data mining and visualization system.
Today Modha’s group is pioneering cognitive computers--cognizers--modeled on the human brain. His tactic is to first simulate the brain on IBM’s supercomputers, then emulate them with hardware microchips that mimic the neural networks of the human brain with systems of similar size and power consumption. Under Modha’s direction, IBM has already simulated the entire brain of a cat, and the white matter of the human brain, as well as fabricated its first generation of cognizer microchips with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA’s) Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program.
Over the next decade Modha plans to scale up its simulations to mimic the entire human brain, then turn to hardware emulations with cognizer microchips that revolutionize computing as we know it.
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