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EBP: The Ersatz Brain Project

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Suite 1400 Woburn, MA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: EBP: The Ersatz Brain Project
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8750-05-C-0122
Award Amount: $99,943.00


This proposal arises from an attempt to design a computer suitable for the efficient execution of software that displays human-like cognitive abilities. Examples of such software applications include natural language understanding, text processing, conceptually based internet search, natural human-computer interfaces, cognitively based data mining, sensor fusion, image understanding, and higher-level cognitive tasks, such as combining lower-level data originating from different sources (senses) into coherent concepts. We base our fundamental architecture on the design of the mammalian neocortex. Our proposed architecture, is named the Ersatz Brain Project (EBP), because current knowledge will only allow us to build a weak approximation of human cortex. Even so, such a computer will be a starting point for projects that progress further in realizing systems with the power, flexibility, and subtlety of the actual brain. In Phase I, we intend to build and test a small software prototype of the EBP, and test it in a natural language (NLP) task. We suggest that a "cortex-power" massively parallel computer is technically feasible, requiring on the order of a million simple CPUs and a terabyte of memory for connections between CPUs. Furthermore, we maintain that such an architecture meets a necessary if one wants to build a realistic cognitive computing in the future.

Principal Investigator:

Paul Allopenna
Cognitive Scientist

Business Contact:

Margaret J. Clancy
Chief Financial Officer
Small Business Information at Submission:

12 Gill Street, Suite 1400 Woburn, MA 01801

EIN/Tax ID: 043281859
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No