To most people, a computer is nothing more than a functional box. You can use it to surf the Web, stream a movie, and maybe crunch some numbers at work, but the thing doesn’t have a mind of its own. At least not yet. But IBM researchers are getting closer: the company has unveiled a new chip that promises to make computers a whole lot smarter.
TrueNorth is wholly unlike traditional computer chips, which use the 1940s-era Von Neumann structure, says Horst Simon, deputy director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Inspired by the brain, the chip comes equipped with one million electronic “neurons” and relies on interconnected webs of transistors, like a brain’s neural networks. I spoke with Simon and Cornell Tech professor Rajit Manohar, who played a key role in developing TrueNorth, to learn more about what this technology can do. Here are five potential applications it may soon enable.
Read more: Inc.