IBM has started a project to create a computer that is structured and acts like the brain. Because of the complexity of this goal, IBM will draw from the field of cognitive computing and bank on the collective skills of neurobiologists, computer and materials scientists and psychologists.
I've always felt that this kind of breakthrough needs to occur before we have a great leap forward in computers, due to the limitations of the Von Neumann computer architecture, an architecture we have relied on since the dawn of the computer. As humans, we're also limited by our work environment; we model and become like our tools.
In the early 1980s Craid Boyd coined the term technostress and wrote a book with the same title, describing how we unwittingly model the computer — binary (Yes/No) thinking, internalizing the speed of the computer...
Back to our motivated dream weavers at IBM. Dharmendra Modha, the chief IBM scientist for this project, says the time is just right for a cross-disciplinary project; the disparate disciplines are coming together in a perfect talent storm. And how does he feel about the potential benefits of the project?
"We are going not just for a home run, but for a home run with the bases loaded."