I never imagined human brains worked on algorithms, but the intelligence community research agency thinks so, and wants help in figuring out the process to help build smarter computers.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity kicked off a project Monday focused on the neural algorithms that form the basis of inference and recognition in the brain, “as a potential basis for creating new types of machine learning algorithms that exhibit more human-like performance characteristics than today's leading systems.”
The agency said, “Many contemporary theories of neural information processing suggest that within a given cortical region or cognitive/sensory domain, the brain employs hierarchical algorithms composed of repeated instances of a limited set of computing ‘primitives’ or modules.”
IARPA wants to figure out how these “cortical primitives” work and then apply them to computing -- a rather staggering effort.
Bob Brewin joined Government Executive in April 2007, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a journalist focusing on defense issues and technology. Bob covers the world of defense and information technology for Nextgov, and is the author of the “What’s Brewin” blog.