"Cam-Brain" ATR’s Billion Neuron Artificial Brain Project

Hugo de Garis

This work reports cm progress made in the first 3 years of ATR’s "CAM-Brain" Project, which aims to use "evolutionary engineering" techniques to build/grow/evolve a RAM-and-cellular-automata based artificial brain consisting of thous~mds of interconnected neural network modules inside special hardware such as MIT’s Cellular Automata Machine "CAM-8", or NTF’s Content Addressable Memory System "CAM-CAM". The states of a billion (later a trillion) 3D cellular automata cells, and millions of cellular automata rules which govern their state changes, can be stored relatively cheaply in giga(tera)bytes of RAM. After 3 years work. the CA rules are almost ready. MIT’s "CAM-8" (essentially a serial device) can update 200 million CA cells a second. It is likely that NTT’s "CAM-CAM" (Cellular Automata on Content Addressable Memory) is essentially massively parallel device, and will be able to update a hundred billion CA cells a second. Hence all the ingredients will soon be ready to create a revolutionary new technology which will allow thousands of evolved neural network modules to be assembled into artificial brains. This in turn will probably create not only a new research field, but hopefully a whole new industry, namely "brain building'. Building artificial brains with a billion neurons is the aim of ATR’s 8 year "CAM-Brain" research project, ending in 2001.


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