IBM is that latest company to join in the Pentagon's quest to make electronics that mimic the "function, size, and power consumption" of a cat's brain.
"For intelligent machines to be useful, they must compete with biological systems," notes a recent presentation from Darpa, the Pentagon's way-out research division. But "compared to biological systems, today's intelligent machines are less efficient by a factor of a million to a billion in complex environments."
Darpa just gave Big Blue a $4,879,333 contract to start work on closing that gap. (Malibu's HRL Laboratories got a similar deal, a few weeks back.) If successful, the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) project could produce machines with so much computing power packed into such a small space, they could signal the "dawn of a new age" of hyper-smart machines.