EBP: The Ersatz Brain Project

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8750-05-C-0122
Agency Tracking Number: F051-109-1952
Amount: $99,943.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-109
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
12 Gill Street, Suite 1400, Woburn, MA, 01801
DUNS: 967259946
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Allopenna
 Cognitive Scientist
 (781) 496-2486
Business Contact
 Margaret Clancy
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (781) 496-2415
Email: clancy@aptima.com
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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