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IBM Takes a (Feline) Step Toward Thinking Machines

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the give-it-nip-or-it-launches-the-missiles dept.

IBM 428

bth writes "A computer with the power of a human brain is not yet near. But this week researchers from IBM Corp. are reporting that they've simulated a cat's cerebral cortex, the thinking part of the brain, using a massive supercomputer. The computer has 147,456 processors (most modern PCs have just one or two processors) and 144 terabytes of main memory — 100,000 times as much as your computer has."

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428 comments

news for nerds (4, Insightful)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143136)

(most modern PCs have just one or two processors)

Aren't we expected to know that? This is /. after all...

Re:news for nerds (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143162)

This is what happens when a user just copies and pastes from the article instead of writing their own summery.

I guess laziness is still king.

Re:news for nerds (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143402)

This is what happens when a user just stares out of the window at school instead of learning to spell.

I guess laziness is still king.

Re:news for nerds (1)

barbariccow (1476631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143256)

Wow! You can buy processors that aren't dual-core? Even the cheapest $300 computers on dell.com don't have one processor.

Re:news for nerds (1)

Straterra (1045994) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143432)

Even the cheapest $300 computers on dell.com don't have one processor.

Actually, they do. Dual core != Dual processor.

Re:news for nerds (3, Insightful)

visualight (468005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143626)

Yes it does, don't be pedantic.

Re:news for nerds (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143698)

Yes it does, don't be pedantic.

Technically is a single Core2Duo/Quad or Core iX CPU considered SMP? I would guess no they are not.

Re:news for nerds (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143930)

Yes, it is. You must be thinking of the ol' hyperthreading technologies. Those are two processors on one die.

Re:news for nerds (1)

Apatharch (796324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143554)

If you define "modern" as being built in the last two years or so, then surely most modern computers have either two or four.

And of course that's further assuming that "processors" correspond to CPU cores; include GPUs and the number varies even more widely.

Or you could ask a typical non-technical user who will tell you that the processor is the big box that the monitor plugs into, so of course they have only one.

Point is, "processor" is so vague a term that if you're really going to nitpick the number in a typical machine could be almost anything.

Re:news for nerds (1)

cryoman23 (1646557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143690)

ya i know really... i have 4 cores but then again its only 1 CPU but still 4 slammed into one.... o well

Re:news for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143810)

It's a quote. Pay attention next time.

Cool... (5, Funny)

Blazarov (894987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143144)

Does it keep wanting cheezburgerz all the time?

Nah, but it will refuse to be mouse operated (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143464)

Nah but it will refuse to be mouse operated ...

Re:Nah, but it will refuse to be mouse operated (0, Redundant)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143548)

That's probably because it keeps eating all the mice!

And it has 9 lives (2, Funny)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143788)

It'll accept 8 crashes before it finally dies the 9th time.

Re:Cool... (3, Funny)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143692)

I can has petaflop?

Re:Cool... (5, Funny)

ImABanker (1439821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143834)

Does it dream of electric mice?

if you shut it off is it animal abuse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143886)

???

Well I hope (5, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143148)

the first thing they teach it is to stop scratching my couch.

Re:Well I hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143254)

insert comparision to small rodent here

"100,000 times as much as your computer has" (2, Interesting)

MC68040 (462186) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143152)

So...

114 terabytes = 116 736 gigabytes
My machine has got 4 gigabytes of RAM, 100 000 x 4 = 400000... Hm?

Re:"100,000 times as much as your computer has" (1)

cryoman23 (1646557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143420)

lol ya that was teh first thing i went and did/thought i have 3GB and thats 48000 times more then me...

Re:"100,000 times as much as your computer has" (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143428)

114 terabytes = 116 736 gigabytes
No it doesn't, but I'm guessing they meant 114 tebibytes anyway, so you're forgiven.

Re:"100,000 times as much as your computer has" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143704)

It's often thought that gibibytes and tebibytes were invented to allow "giga" and "tera" to retain their conventional meanings as powers of 10 even when used to refer to quantities of data.

However, the true reason was to enable an entirely new form of pedantry.

Re:"100,000 times as much as your computer has" (1)

ddegirmenci (1644853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143454)

Seriously, this article must've been written for "I want a PC that is able to log on to Facebook and Hotmail"-esque people. 1GB of RAM?! Single core CPU!? I'm sure the author could write an article over how the S3 Virge chipset changed things in the gaming world in the last few months.

Re:"100,000 times as much as your computer has" (2, Informative)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143696)

According to my math:

1TByte = 1024 GBytes

1GByte = 1024 MBytes

1MByte = 1024 KBytes

1KByte = 1024 Bytes

so 114 TB = 1024 * 1024 * 1024 * 1024 * 114 = 1,243,443,256,646,464 bytes

My machine has 8 GBytes of RAM in it which is (1024 * 1024 * 1024 * 8) 8,589,934,592 bytes

So that machine has ~ 144,755.846896 times more memory than mine.

Or I'm missing something but hey, I was told there would be no math.

Re:"100,000 times as much as your computer has" (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143756)

Redoing the last step (what I did wrong initially eludes me) if I divide 1,243,443,256,646,464 by 8,589,934,592 I get 14,592. So I guess, no that machine doesn't have nearly 100,000 times more memory.

Re:"100,000 times as much as your computer has" (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143808)

What in the world is wrong with me? I must be getting senile. I've done this math like five times now and keep getting different answers. I think I need to re-learn how to type numbers into a calculator.

Re:"100,000 times as much as your computer has" (2, Informative)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143890)

There's a much easier way [google.com] :)

Re:"100,000 times as much as your computer has" (1)

azior (1302509) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143934)

If you imagine that the human brain is about 100 times better than a cat brain, your computer equivalent would have millions of processors and xenobytes of memory! ...but would also really suck at math

One word... (3, Funny)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143184)

One word...

Meow!

Re:One word... (2, Funny)

Njoyda Sauce (211180) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143238)

One word...

Meow!

Thought you only needed 32 bits for that?

hmmmm (5, Funny)

Polkyb (732262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143202)

They've spent millions teaching a computer how to destroy furnature and shit in your shoes.

Re:hmmmm (3, Funny)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143310)

Funny I was going to say lay in the sun and ignore you.

Re:hmmmm (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143652)

Funny thing, I have the same feeling when I see babies.

Re:hmmmm (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143866)

They've spent millions teaching a computer how to destroy furnature and shit in your shoes.

At least computers don't get cat hair on all your clothes.

Why cats? (2, Insightful)

Schiphol (1168667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143212)

If Slashdot [slashdot.org] it to be trusted, there will soon be a sizeable number of cat brains living in our computers. Does anybody know why cats and not dogs or hamsters?

Re:Why cats? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143294)

To properly simulate a cat, the system needs to sleep 20hrs a day which would thus make it the greenest option on the market.....

Re:Why cats? (2, Funny)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143308)

One word: Aineko [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why cats? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143348)

I don't know about hamsters but I can answer for dogs. As this post [goodeatsfanpage.com] clearly demonstrates, there won't much for scientists to do with a dog's thoughts. The dog's diary however is incomplete as it left off the parts where the dog would obviously --SQUIRREL!!-- meander into other thoughts.

PC dual-core cat is watching you post to /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143436)

And he gets off on it.

Re:Why cats? (1)

BlueBlasphemy (696732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143448)

Cats are easier to emulate. I have two cats & two computers & not a single one of them pay any attention when I call them.

They are a model organism for neuroscience (5, Informative)

tpjunkie (911544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143538)

Having done neuroscience research, (if only on a master's degree level), I can say that the cat brain is particularly well studied, mapped out, and understood by neuroscientists. It is used as a model organism by many neuroscientists, and has a number of similarities with the human brain in its layout and function, much moreso than the mouse or rat brain.

Re:They are a model organism for neuroscience (1)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143824)

So this program simulates every synapse individually?
Does the program respond to external stimuli?

Re:Why cats? (2, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143574)

Im in ur 'puterz, simulatins ur neurons.

That's why.

My cat's name is Butt Puppet. (2, Funny)

protodevilin (1304731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143216)

...and there's no way his brain power calls for 147,456 processors.

Remember Robokoneko? (1)

imag0 (605684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143224)

The blurb reminds me of the venerable Robokoneko [atnet.it] project that never quite got off the ground.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143230)

So they have created a massive machine that will walk on a keyboard and complain that it's food dish is half empty. Why?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143340)

He's not complaining his food dish is half empty. He's complaining because the food had been in the food dish for too long and is not good enough anymore. Step 1: throw away the food in the food dish. Step 2: clean the food dish. Step 3: Put new food in it.

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143446)

No, they created a machine which ignores them. They're getting no response, so they know that they succeeded.

i can has sentience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143236)

But does it run Linux?

Sleep Mode (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143246)

Now if the could just get it out of sleep mode.

Re:Sleep Mode (1)

Robotz (451860) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143590)

Newest IBM patent: A method for waking a computer, using nothing more than a box of cat treats.

I wonder what size hair balls that thing generates?

Re:Sleep Mode (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143734)

My computer behaves like a cat all the time. It ignores me. It stops when it wants to. It lays on my desk. When I call it, it doesn't look back at me. It must be nice to be Recession proof.

Re:Sleep Mode (5, Funny)

Dannon (142147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143820)

Just move the mouse.

Skynet reference needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143252)

Skynet reference needed

problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143258)

the problem, IMO, for machines to tackle is that humans and animals both have a "will to exist"...all subsequent thoughts and actions in their respective brains derive from this from, giving the brain a purpose by directing the body to perform actions that satisfy it.

what equivalent purpose is there for a machine to exist? could such a purpose ever be simulated? does such a purpose need to have a biological characteristic in order for it to be valid? i think there needs to be more philosophical work done in the field of AI before another useless terabyte is added.

Simulating a Brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143298)

As seen in this article, you can achieve the simulation by throwing more hardware at it. There is also a solution that most people never think of: come up with a new algorithm that is faster then the current one and can simulate a brain with more efficiency then the one used. At that point, the hardware becomes less impressive.

Re:Simulating a Brain (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143822)

On related note... Think about this - it took millions of years before nature could come up with a brain the size of cat's with that capability. We have achieved something similar in few decades. When you ignore all the moral arguments and just focus on technology, it is something of an achievement.

Given sufficient time, with advancement in technology, we should be able to shrink the size and also make it more powerful with better hardware.

But.... (3, Funny)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143312)

Can it lick its own arse in polite company?

Lol (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143316)

I thought the Lolcat epidemic was over. Now it is only going to get worse

meat versus silicon and metal (3, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143322)

It amazes me how much hardware and power has to be thrown at the problem to solve it while nature can create a self-organizing machine that only requires material input of raw mice and lasagna. Puts me in mind of this quote:

"If research leads to the development of successful new modeling techniques that can carry out new and better forms of information processing, no one will really care if they do not exactly mimic the functionality of the human brain," concludes Hall. "I honestly doubt you'll find too many people today who are upset that the wings on an aircraft do not flap like those of a bird or that a submarine does not swim exactly like a fish."

It's an interesting way of looking at things. Man's earliest ideas of flying all involved trying to mimic the actions of a bird. And ornithopters remain impractical as passenger vehicles. But new breakthroughs in material sciences and computing are allowing for autonomous bots that fly like birds, bats, bugs, and can swim like snakes and fish. Engineers will point out that the evolved solutions we see in nature are working with the materials at hand, they might not be the best of all solutions. Every flying vertebrate known to science turned forelimbs into wings and flap them. Is it the most efficient way to fly? That's an argument I'll leave to the biologists and engineers but it's certainly the only way those vertebrates were getting into the air! They have to work with the materials at hand. If we ever saw flying horses, the only thing we could be absolutely sure of is that this would not be achieved by sprouting two more limbs from the back. We see evolution taking away limbs but never adding new ones.

Re:meat versus silicon and metal (2, Interesting)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143486)

We see evolution taking away limbs but never adding new ones.

I think the elephant's prehensile trunk would qualify as a counterexample... (Though I won't think that the chances of a Dumbo-style evolution are significant...)

Re:meat versus silicon and metal (3, Informative)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143632)

Uh yeah, because evolution started with creatures that had 4 limbs and 5 toes/fingers on each, right? These didn't evolve over time, right?

I'm sorry, but you are wrong for obvious reasons.

Re:meat versus silicon and metal (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143884)

OK, I'll bite.

Evolution started with organismes made of rings (can't remember my Bio classes ATM). Earthworms are the classic example, loads of rings all alike, with 1 spécial ring on each end. Then the rings evolved (enter centipedes), and spécialised.

If you want some modern examples, ask where your spine came from (lots of identicle parts, remember...), or why you have a diaphragme between you lungs and your stomach.

Re:meat versus silicon and metal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143856)

Not that I remember any off hand, but there are many examples of evolution growing new limps, not just losing old ones. Generally I believe it falls into categories like "critter A had 6 legs, then lost 2 when it became critter B. It later regrew those two legs and became critter C" type things though.

Re:meat versus silicon and metal (2, Insightful)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143922)

>> It amazes me how much hardware and power has to be thrown at the problem to solve it while nature can create a self-organizing machine that only requires material input of raw mice and lasagna.

But at the same time, there are two big differences:
1. Nature started bottom up (small to big - one cell to multicell), and it took millions of years to 'produce' a cat.
2. We have started top down (big to small - first achieve the goal and go smaller from there with newer technology), and it took us few decades to get there.

Primitive explanation (1)

Chameleon Man (1304729) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143356)

I'm going to go ahead and judge a book by it's cover. Given how primitive the summary is, I have doubts that this "supercomputer" matches a kitty's cerebral cortex 1-to-1. Having the "power" is one thing, but the learning aspect is another.

Woof? or Meow? Woof would have been better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143360)

They'd have been much better off modeling it after a dog. At least if it failed to run the application correctly it's would look all sad and whine for forgiveness.
So now we have a computer that will play with you, then eat you... Great. Just freaking great. Awesome job!

Wheee.

Iz in ur brane... (4, Funny)

benwiggy (1262536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143376)

Iz in ur brane, making ur thorts. LOL!

"The computer has 147,456 processors and 144 terabytes of main memory."

Cat's cerebral cortex? (1)

Ubiquitous Bubba (691161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143384)

Cat? Really? Now we have a supercomputer than can stalk us and then trip us at the top of the stairs. Where's my robot dog?

Cat mentaity (0)

spooje (582773) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143396)

"A computer with the power of a human brain is not yet near. But this week researchers from IBM Corp. are reporting that they've simulated a cat's cerebral cortex, the thinking part of the brain, using a massive supercomputer."

So it basically puts itself in sleep mode 20 hours a day and the other 4 hours it spends ignoring the user?

Re:Cat mentaity (2, Funny)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143496)

Sounds like Windows ME.

Re:Cat mentaity (4, Funny)

Dannon (142147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143770)

Sounds like Windows ME.

Windows MEow in this case.

Named Cat-3PO? (1)

hymy (735785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143408)

Goodness gracious meow!

First there was "Deep Thought" (5, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143414)

then "Deep Thought II"
then "Deep Blue"
next "Deep Pussy"??

Reminds the Spinnaker project (2, Informative)

enriquevagu (1026480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143426)

From TFA: "The simulation, which runs 100 times slower than an actual cat's brain,"

This reminds me of the Spinnaker project [man.ac.uk] , that pretended to simulate a brain (ok, a smaller one, say a fly's brain) in real time. According to their calculations, the processing power of each neuron is very small, so a simple ARM core could handle some 1000 (correct me, this is what I remember) neurons in real time. The complex point was the interconnections between neurons. Obviously, this is much more powerful, despite the 100x slowdown: A much larger brain, and not using specific hardware.

A "feline" step ... ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143462)

A "feline" step, huh?

Would that be Leopard, Tiger, or Panther?

Don't read the article or you'll be disappointed. (2, Informative)

Tom Boz (1570397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143478)

"The latest feat, being presented at a supercomputing conference in Portland, Ore., doesn't mean the computer thinks like a cat, or that it is the progenitor of a race of robo-cats." See, this is why no one on /. reads TFA; when we do, we're habitually disappointed! I'd much rather blindly believe the summary...

Moore's Law (1, Interesting)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143504)

Moore's law predicts that computing power will double roughly every 2 years. Log base 2 of 147,456 is rounded up to 18 generations. In other words, in 36 years you can simulate a cat on your desktop. Of course you can always do that today with Nintencats.

The Paper (3, Informative)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143526)

Here's the actual paper [modha.org] (pdf).

Although, of course, posting the piece of pap that explains how many processors my machine has makes so much more sense.

Wasn't Slashdot supposed to be for a semi-technical audience? Hell, even a semi-literate one.

when the human brain is simulated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143534)

at 1:1 speed, you will be redundant.

And the simulated will not have rights, they will be tweaked to perform as slaves.

And you will be out of a job.

Technology advances to obsolete progressively less menial tasks.

Technology advances until _every_ human is obsolete.

Remember this.

A pile of neurons does not a brain make... (5, Insightful)

swm (171547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143568)

From TFA, it doesn't sound like they simulated the cerebral cortex of a cat.
It sounds like they simulated a neural net with a comparable number of neurons.
Not the same thing.

A few days ago, Slashdot ran The Math of a Fly's Eye May Prove Useful [slashdot.org] .

Those guys

  • reverse engineered the yaw motion detector in a fly brain
  • reduced the neural network to a set of 5 coupled, non-linear equations
  • implemented the equations on a computer
  • ran their implementation against an animated scene
  • observed that the equations correctly and robustly detect yaw

and they still don't understand how the equations actually work.

That's where we are with brain simulation.

Cat-Brain Tech (4, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143578)

The military is rumored to be interested in using the cat simulator to guide precision munitions with laser pointers. Unfortunately the system seems limited to short range applications, as missiles seem to loose interest after a couple minutes.

cat-SIZED brain, not a cat brain (4, Insightful)

WAG24601G (719991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143658)

This project is basically a massive neural network simulation with a number of nodes and connections comparable to the estimated totals in a cat's brain. In short, there is nothing cat-like about this system apart from its raw processing power.

Not to reduce the value of this feat, by any means! There are tons and tons of neural network simulations that can produce roughly human-like results in very, very narrow domains, but as the quote below explains, these simulations are decades (or more) from connecting the behavior of tiny subsystems (a few hundred neurons) with the overall phenomenon of 'mind' (conscious and unconscious cognition). The expectation is that a network of this size will show some new emergent properties that will give us clues about the intermediate "higher than cells, lower than interviewing a human" order of processing.

Jim Olds, a neuroscientist and director of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University, called the new research a "tremendous step." Olds, who was not involved in IBM's work, said neuroscientists have been amassing data about how the brain works much like "stamp collectors," without a way to tie it together.

"We've made tremendous advances in collecting data, but we don't have a collective theory yet for how this complex organ called the brain produces things like Shakespeare's sonnets and Mozart's symphonies," he said. "The holy grail for neuroscientists is to map activity from single nerve cells, which they know about, into how billions of nerve cells act in concert."

Re:cat-SIZED brain, not a cat brain (2, Informative)

WAG24601G (719991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143716)

I should also point out that they are only simulating the cerebral cortex, which is the 'wrinkly' outer portion of the brain. There is a great deal more to the brain than the cerebral cortex, but we generally associate it with what makes us human. Humans have a uniquely large cerebrum compared to our mid-brains. The rest of the brain becomes increasingly important the farther you venture from Homo sapiens in taxonomy. It's becoming increasingly apparent that even the highest order human behaviors (like language) depend on sub-cortical organs, like the putamen. Therefore, while TFA is a great step for neural simulation... it's nothing like a robot cat.

I have the cheaper version 2.0 (2, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143706)

Just buy a cat.

asvfgko90]\ (2, Funny)

The Wookie (31006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143712)

I assume that it will walk all over its own keyboard now.

Just a big neural net (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143726)

This isn't really strong AI in the sense that you're thinking of it:

The latest feat, being presented at a supercomputing conference in Portland, Ore., doesn't mean the computer thinks like a cat, or that it is the progenitor of a race of robo-cats. The simulation, which runs 100 times slower than an actual cat's brain, is more about watching how thoughts are formed in the brain and how the roughly 1 billion neurons and 10 trillion synapses in a cat's brain work together.

To me, this translates into "we've made a big unspecialized neural network and we're watching the weights update as we try to classify corporate logos with it". While building something on this scale is quite a feat, this is not really modeling a cat's cortex... unless you happen to be including specialized structures and modeling those parts of the brain differently. Does this thing have a hippocampus, for instance?

I believe that the ultimate test of an AI system is functional: can it solve mental challenges that cats can solve (on its own, without being instructed in them in advance)? If so, it's at least as intelligent as a cat. If not, it isn't.

This is probably why it's being presented at a supercomputing conference and not at something like AAAI.

Re:Just a big neural net (1)

WAG24601G (719991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143844)

To me, this translates into "we've made a big unspecialized neural network and we're watching the weights update as we try to classify corporate logos with it".

I think the hope is that this system will show some unique emergent properties that could not be observed in smaller models. If all they wanted to do was recognize logos, they could have done that simulation on a laptop. I haven't read the actual paper, but I'm sure the researchers used some architecture beyond "giant net" or the generalization results would have sucked (rule of thumb: the bigger the net, the weaker the generalization; the smaller the net, the greater the errors)

Arnold (1)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143742)

So, SkyNet is a kitteh... it all makes sense now.

Yeah but ... (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143806)

Can it cough up a technicolor hair-ball?

At last, vengeance! (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143840)

Now I can sleep on top of a computer that is a cat!

I love my kitties, but they really do find the least helpful times to crawl onto my keyboard/chew through a cable/unplug my machine. Maybe now that there's a hybrid cat/computer it can explain to the organic ones why they need to chill out.

Preventing bugs (1)

autophile (640621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143846)

I heard that IBM installed PawSense 2.0, which blocks output when "cat-like computation detected".

You must suck at maths. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143908)

What the hell? 144TB isn't 100,000 times as much as what most consumers have now. 144TB divided by 100,000 = 1.47GB rounded up.

They don't even make hard drives that small anymore. Try again.

Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30143928)

Disappointed that this article hasn't been ripped to shreds yet. It's clearly written by someone with very little insight into AI, supercomputing or philosophy. If it has a place on slashdot at all it's in the "idle" section.

First one... no friends (1)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30143962)

That is a damn lonely and fat cat!
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