For those who may have missed it, an article in last week’s Bloomberg Businessweek – under the heading “creating chips that learn and respond as they gain experience” — described recent and ongoing advances in AI, cognition, and human-computer interaction:
In a windowless room deep inside IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, scientists are teaching a computer chip to learn from what it sees, much like a human.
The effort is paying off, if performance at Pong is any measure. When the chip, part of a project called SyNAPSE, first learned to play the classic videogame in March, it did poorly. Weeks later, the company reports, it was nearly unbeatable.
The SyNAPSE chip was designed to learn through experience, find correlations, create hypotheses, and remember outcomes. As chips such as the one from SyNAPSE become smarter and smaller, it will be possible to embed them in everyday objects. That portends a future in which the interaction between computer and user is far more natural and ubiquitous.
“Computers were originally designed to solve math problems and that’s what they’re really good at — symbolic computation,” says Steve Esser, one of three scientists teaching the SyNAPSE chip. “Anything that involves visual processing, auditory processing, or speech processing — they can do it, but they’re just not very good at it…”
“[But] computing is undergoing the most remarkable transformation since the invention of the PC,” said Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini during his company’s developer conference in September. “The innovation of the next decade is going to outstrip the innovation of the past three combined.”
Check out a video of SyNAPSE after the jump…