Large scale neurosimulation.

For those of you who watch the tech field, you've no doubt heard of Ray Kurzweil, the inventor, technologist, and futurist who's been promulgating the "The Singularity is near!" meme since the 1980's. Love him or hate him, he's a brilliant man who's invented some fantastic, practical things. One of the things he talks about a great deal is how strong AI, which many now refer to as Artificial General Intelligence (i.e., human-like intelligence and sapience) is just a few years away, and he cites Moore's Law as evidence of this. Of course, a lot of people think he's …

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The map is not the territory, but this one folds up the same way.

Researchers from the University of Nevada and IBM's Almaden Research Lab have used the BlueGene L supercomputer to run a heretofore unprecedented simulation of about one-half of a mouse's brain. It's not easy to keep an organic brain going outside of a living body so they did the next best thing, which was write a program that emulates the organic brain as closely as they could. This isn't as easy as it sounds because neural networks more advanced than those of worms have so many interacting factors that taking them all into account is a gargantuan task. It is also …

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