August 13, 2002


Engineer looks to human brain for new technology (LISA RATHKE, Aug 7, 2002, Associated Press)
In searching for new ways to advance computers, engineers are looking to man's gray matter for inspiration. And while comparing the two, they often wonder why a computer can't act more like a brain.

For IBM senior technologist Kerry Bernstein, the technological possibilities are astounding.

His curiosity was piqued five years ago as he chatted with a neurosurgeon at his local gym.

Martin Bednar, then head of neurosurgery research at the University of Vermont, explained to him how neurons and the brain work. In exchange Bernstein talked to him about how transistors and chips works.

"And it hit us like a freight train simultaneously that in fact the underlying physics is the same," Bernstein says.

"So that begged the question: If the underlying physics is the same, have both systems been evolving toward the same solutions to compute problems?"

Yes, they have.

But the brain naturally had a better way.

At least we're still ahead for now.... Posted by Orrin Judd at August 13, 2002 9:56 AM
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