December 26, 2009|
December 18, 2009|
Marvin Minsky has decided to resuscitate AI from the 80's ashes with a fresh $5M grant to support an MIT team in a "project to build intelligent machines". More info here. I have strong doubts on Minsky's approach, and the new Turing test: "can the computer read, understand, and explain a children's book". I would be satisfied with replicating the children...
December 9, 2009|
Memristors is not a solo business. In a recent SyNAPSE-centric meeting, Robert Thijs Kozma brought up a very interesting post on the rapidly changing business landscape of memristors. A number of companies beyond Hewlett Packard, including AMD, Axon Technologies, Energy Conversion Devices, Micron Technologies, Samsung, and Sharp have been very active in researching, and patenting, memristor-based devices. An excellent outlook of the business and patent landscape around variations on the memristor theme can be found here.
November 26, 2009|
When I read (and wrote about) the recent controversy between Modha and Markram, I had this inescapable déjà vu feeling....weird, where did I hear that somebody already simulated a "brain" of the scale of the human brain? Of course!.... Eugene Izhikevich, a very bright (and VERY funny) neuroscientist that, in 2007, visited our center CELEST. During that visit, he showed what at that time (in 2005, and may be up to today) was one of the "largest scale" neural simulation. Read the rest of this entry »
November 24, 2009|
In my recent post, I commented on IBM's announcement at the Supercomputing Conference (SC09) in Portland, Ore., that they had simulated a brain with the number of neurons and synapses present in a cat's brain. It looks like the controversial statement of IBM being finally able to "simulate a cat's brain" (or however their original statements has been distorted) has been stirring some more comments. Henry Markram, the leader of the Blue Brain project at EPFL, Lausanne, sent an open letter to IBM CTO Bernard Meyerson, along with several media (UK Daily Mail, Die Zeit, Wired, Discover, Forbes). One big question is: was Modha's statement somehow distorted? Did he actually simply claim that IBM simulated a system that has the same number of neurons of a cat, as opposed to simulate "the cat's brain?". This is an important distinction. Anyway, Neurdons must know, so here it is! Enjoy!
November 19, 2009|
IEEE Spectrum has published an interesting article titled "IBM Unveils a New Brain Simulator: A big step forward in a project that aims for thinking chips". The post describes IBM’s Almaden Research Center latest simulation effort announced at the Supercomputing Conference (SC09), where they unveiled that "that they have created the largest brain simulation to date on a supercomputer. The number of neurons and synapses in the simulation exceed those in a cat’s brain; previous simulations have reached only the level of mouse and rat brains." Read the rest of this entry »
November 17, 2009|
Ever wondered what neurons do to each other? How does a signal generated in one neuron cause a reaction in another neuron? Neurons behavior is fairly complex (see this post), but with some simplification we can begin to understand, and model, how neurons affect each other and ultimately determine information processing in the brain. Read the rest of this entry »
October 25, 2009|
Stanley Williams, whose team discovered the fourth fundamental circuit element, the memristor, gives a brief talk about how the device works. Read the rest of this entry »
September 9, 2009|
In collaboration with Robert Thijs Kozma
Robert and I thought that it would be nice to finally define what the main building block of what we are talking about is! What are neurons, and how do they work? How do these relatively simple processing elements give rise to higher perceptual and cognitive functions? We are not going to answer these big questions in this post, but we have to start somewhere…. Let’s take a closer look at what is a neuron, how a simple mathematical model can capture a remarkable spectrum of neuron’s behavior, and let’s look at some simple MATLAB code that would allow neurdons to run a neuron in MATLAB at the end of this post. Read the rest of this entry »
July 29, 2009|
I just finished reading Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell. The book is meant to be an introduction to complexity theory for the general reader.
The book works as a lucid review of many interesting topics in science and mathematics. I'd read Mitchell's book on genetic algorithms, and she's a gifted writer. Here she explores (among other things) dynamical systems, chaos, information theory, genetic algorithms, cellular automata, analogical reasoning, and network theory. She does a great job explaining difficult concepts in a clear manner.