The venerable IBM’s Watson seems to signal just the beginning of greater things to come. Not satisfied with creating a supercomputer that is capable of winning the Jeopardy quiz contest without much hassle, IBM has set a new goal for itself. The company has announced its plan to build a cognitive computer system capable of simulating the same number of neurons as the human brain. It’s also working to get this upcoming supercomputer to utilize less energy than the Watson, which beat human competitors, namely, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, on Jeopardy Quiz Show last February.
John Kelly, IBM’s SVP and Director of Research, explained during a press briefing in Capitol Hill that computers are increasingly becoming bio-inspired. As we learned, that was the main reason for deciding to build a supercomputer that will consume less than the 85 kilowatts of electricity that Watson required. For your information, the human brain utilizes only 20 watts of electric current. So, this new computer system will compete with us in terms cognitive capability and conservative use of electricity.
If you’re expecting to behold this new computer with artificial brain this year or next, you’d be disappointed. It’s still a work-in-progress, and International Business machines (IBM) is collaborating with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The company forecasts the project will be completed within the next ten years.