Brainlike Computers, Learning From Experience – By JOHN MARKOFF Published: December 28, 2013

Just Sayin'

Photo Credit: Erin Lubin/The New York Times

Kwabena Boahen holding a biologically inspired processor attached to a robotic arm in a laboratory at Stanford University.

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Computers have entered the age when they are able to learn from their own mistakes, a development that is about to turn the digital world on its head.

The first commercial version of the new kind of computer chip is scheduled to be released in 2014. Not only can it automate tasks that now require painstaking programming — for example, moving a robot’s arm smoothly and efficiently — but it can also sidestep and even tolerate errors, potentially making the term “computer crash” obsolete.

The new computing approach, already in use by some large technology companies, is based on the biological nervous system, specifically on how neurons react to stimuli and connect with other neurons to interpret information. It allows computers…

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