The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has introduced a new program called SyNAPSE, which aims to develop computer systems that simulate important functions of the human brain.
Currently, computer systems can only process information according to their programming. SyNAPSE's goal is to make unmanned systems and electronic devices more efficient, flexible and enable them to understand, adapt, and respond to information in fundamentally different ways than traditional computers.
The program will be using the brain's organization as a platform in which to build the computer systems. In development are integrated circuits with high densities of electronic devices and integrated communication networks that approximate the functions and connectivity of neurons and synapses.
There are two phases of SyNAPSE. The first phase develops components with the ability to adapt the connection strength between the two neurons. The second phase simplifies the system's architecture, simulates the core dynamical behaviors of large networks and demonstrates microcircuits of electronic synapse and neurons that organize in simple environments.
DARPA's SyNAPSE program manager Todd Hylton said so far, SyNAPSE has successfully demonstrated all the core hardware, architecture, simulation and evaluation capabilities needed for a new generation of intelligent electronic machines.