Numenta is trying to trying to create artificial intelligence by applying insights about how the brain works. Their plan: reverse engineer the neocortex. Numenta publishes theories that help advance this mission, but in the short term, they license their technology for commercial applications.
The group is led by CEO & Co-Founder Donna Dubinsky and Co-Founder Jeff Hawkins. She is a serial entrepreneur and former CEO of Palm Computing, and he is a scientist whose research has defined the neocortical focus that Numenta maintains. His book On Intelligence outlines a revolution in how machines will understand information. Dr. Dileep George, who was an important developer, went on to co-found the Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) company Vicarious Inc (vicarious.com) based on models and designs inspired by his work at Numenta.
Their principal theory is that understanding the cortical circuit will unlock the key to understanding how the neocortex works. Their theories have led to the creation of a biologically inspired technology called Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM), which, when applied to computers has the potential to change the way information is processed. Its algorithms allow the models to learn multiple patterns simultaneously.
Numenta has been active in the open-source community and makes their work available to the public, including HTM technology through their partner site numenta.org. They create many videos, podcasts, and even have a living book that documents their machine intelligence framework.
Reverse engineering the generic neocortex won’t lead to Whole Brain Emulation on its own, but understanding how it works is a critical step. The road is long and technologies like HTM and groups of engineers and scientists are working around the clock to make important leaps and bounds toward completely reverse-engineering the brain.
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