Russian scientists just made a major breakthrough that brings us closer than ever to a human-like computer.
Six researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have developed a hardware prototype of “electronic synapses,” which is essentially a man-made version of the synapses in our brains that allows us to transmit the signals we use to think and learn. In the paper the team just published in the journal Nanoscale Research Letters, the authors state that their prototype exhibits properties similar to biological synapses and that thanks to this research, we are now one step closer to building an entire artificial neural network.
“In the future, this technology may be used to design computers that function similar to biological neural networks,” Matvey Kireyev, a spokesperson for MIPT, told the Observer in an email.
The synapses designed by the Moscow scientists closes the gap between biological synapses and those computer researchers have built in the past. This team is one of many working to build artificial intelligence machines that can “think” more similarly to the way the human brain does.
In 2014, we reported on the Neural Turing Machine, the artificial intelligence creation of London-based DeepMind Technologies, an AI firm that was acquired by Google. Half of the machine’s hardware was designed to be made of fragments of neural networks, which experts at the firm hoped would equip the machine with the means to create like a human, but still has the number-crunching power of a computer.
Advancements in neural networks that get us closer and closer to understanding as well as replicating the human brain is one of the most debated topics in technology right now. Even Elon Musk has warned time and time again about the dangers of artificial intelligence.