Thursday, April 23, 2009

Simulated brain closer to thought

Published by Jason Palmer - BBC on 22/04/09

A detailed simulation of a small region of a brain built molecule by molecule has been constructed and has recreated experimental results from real brains. The "Blue Brain" has been put in a virtual body, and observing it gives the first indications of the molecular and neural basis of thought and memory. Scaling the simulation to the human brain is only a matter of money, says the project's head. The work was presented at the European Future Technologies meeting in Prague. The Blue Brain project launched in 2005 as the most ambitious brain simulation effort ever undertaken. While many computer simulations have attempted to code in "brain-like" computation or to mimic parts of the nervous systems and brains of a variety of animals, the Blue Brain project was conceived to reverse-engineer mammal brains from real laboratory data and to build up a computer model down to the level of the molecules that make them up. Click for more...

Friday, April 03, 2009

Robot scientist 'Adam' solves genetic problems

Published by The Times on 03/04/09

A robot has become the first of its kind to make a scientific discovery by solving a problem that human researchers have failed to crack for decades. The robot, called Adam, was able to work out where an important gene would be located and to develop experiments to prove its theory. It had been challenged to identify a gene in yeast for which its human counterparts had been searching since at least the 1960s. The robot, devised at Aberystwyth University, was able to identify the gene, which controls an enzyme crucial to the production of lysine, an amino acid essential to growth. It is thought that robots like Adam, and its successor, Eve, which is soon to be switched on at Aberystwyth, offer new hope in the battle against disease. Professor Ross King, who led the project, said that malaria and schistosomiasis, an infection caused by a parasitic worm, were among the diseases that robots should be able to help to defeat. Adam’s discovery, he said, was likely to play an important role in developing new treatments for fungal diseases such as athlete’s foot. [Click for more...]

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

CADIE: April fools or not?

As you are reading these lines you have probably already read Google's April fools joke on CADIE (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity), a self-conscious computer system. Good sense of humour you may say, or great imagination! But could this just be a fun way of introducing a new reality? Could Google be close to building the first self-conscious machine that passes the Turing test? What do you think? After all, if Google cannot make it who can?