IBM has announced plans to work on a new cognitive computing research project. In this effort, it aims to develop PCs that would operate almost like the human mind. The PC maker would be joined by four universities in this endeavor. Those are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and New York University.
Together, IBM and its partner universities would create systems that would exceed performance of Watson, an IBM computer that defeated two ex-champions in special matches of ‘Jeopardy,’ the trivia game show. The cognitive PCs would be equipped with the capability to process not just natural language but also unstructured information. This way, the system would learn by experience, more like how the human mind could do so. It is expected to be another significant project from the company.
Dealing with big data
The research would deal with ‘big data.’ It is the phrase pertaining to the use of PCs in new ways for processing huge volumes of unstructured and structured data. The goal is to make those data more useful and easily accessible.
IBM and its partner universities would explore specific topics in their research. Those subjects include bolstering of group decision making through applications, processing of power and algorithms applied to artificial intelligence, and designing of systems for natural interaction. They would also tackle the impact of learning on automated patterned recognition.
The company has identified the need for further research in identification of systems and processes that would back computing models that would facilitate interaction of people and systems. Those interactions would be in various domains of expertise.
Not replacing people
In a statement, IBM clarified that it still believes that computers would not and could not replace people. However, it aims to develop PCs that would serve as a support system for decision making processes. Those PCs should also be able to help make decisions in various aspects like finance, health care, or customer service.
It reiterated that modern computers could process large volume of data, could work faster, and could effectively manipulate information. But those are still not able to think the way the human mind could.
Prior to this new collaboration project, IBM is already working on an initiative dubbed as Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE). That research effort aims to replicate how neurons connect after receiving sensory input.