At the beginning of 2016, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency dedicated $100 million dollars to what has been called the “Apollo Project of the Brain”. The Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks program, or MICrONS, aims to reverse-engineer one cubic millimeter of the brain, study the way it makes computations, and use those findings to better inform algorithms in machine learning and artificial intelligence. A great deal of technology today already relies on a class of algorithms called artificial neural networks, which, as their name would suggest, are inspired by the architecture (or at least what we know about the architecture) of the brain. As a part of President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative, MICrONS is an attempt to push forward the status quo in brain-inspired computing.
At nearly the one-year anniversary of this program, QS2 scientists have joined this effort as scientific and technical advisers to the IARPA team.