UnreasonableMan writes "Jeff Hawkins is best known for founding Palm Computing and Handspring, but for the last eighteen months he's been working on his third company, Numenta. In his 2005 book, On Intelligence, Hawkins laid out a theoretical framework describing how the neocortex processes sensory inputs and provides outputs back to the body. Numenta's goal is to build a software model of the human brain capable of face recognition, object identification, driving, and other tasks currently better suited to humans.
For an overview see Hawkins' 2005 presentation at UC Berkeley. It includes a demonstration of an early version of the software that can recognize handwritten letters and distinguish between stick figure dogs and cats. Whitepapers are available at Numenta's website.
Numenta wisely decided to build a community of developers rather than try to make everything proprietary. Yesterday they released the first version of their free development platform and the source code for their algorithms to anyone who wants to download it."