A couple of months ago, IBM announced that its SyNAPSE project had developed a computer chip that processes information in a similar manner as the human brain. Now the company has come out with a new programming architecture, including a new programming language, that will work with those chips.
“Traditional architecture is very sequential in nature, from memory to processor and back,” explained IBM’s Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha. “Our architecture is like a bunch of LEGO blocks with different features. Each corelet has a different function, then you compose them together.”
If and when they become a reality, cognitive computers will be good at the same sorts of things the human brain is good at—recognizing faces in a crowd, for example—but not as good at the sort of calculations that today’s computers do well. “Today’s computers are very good at analytics and number crunching,” Modha added. “Think of today’s computers as left brained and SyNAPSE as right brained.”