Having found a powerful method for activating neurons with blue light in the protein Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) , we sought to augment the toolbox by finding a single-component system capable of mediating light-elicited neuronal inhibition. We identified a powerful tool, the mammalian codon-optimized version of the light-driven chloride pump halorhodopsin, from the archaebacterium Natronobacterium pharaonis (here abbreviated Halo) .
Entrepreneur-turned-cognitive neuroscientist Jeff Hawkins is distributing a “research release” of their experimental code base implementing his idea of hierarchical temporal memory described in his book, “On Intelligence”. Hawkins drew inspiration for the model from his own reading about the structure and function of the human neocortex and believes that it represents the foundation for developing intelligent machines.
Jeff explains this surprising move to open source the code for the Numenta Platform for Intelligent Computing (NuPIC) on the Numenta web site:
Why are we making NuPIC available now?
We have been contacted by dozens of researchers and scientists who are excited about HTM and by our work at Numenta. These people are anxious to work on HTM, are willing to be pioneers, and are willing to accept the uncertainty associated with a new technology. We are making our tools available so that these sophisticated developers can start building a community around HTM technology. NuPIC has been under development for 18 months, is pretty solid, and is well documented – including several examples to make it easy to get started – so we’re ready to open up to more developers, even while knowing that we do not yet have benchmarking data, and we cannot make guarantees about applicability to specific problems.
Here’s why Hawkins thinks that HTMs are new.
Neurodudes is actively soliciting code reviews of the newly released software. Is NuPIC the next big thing, or are you left feeling cold? Post your thoughts yourself using the instructions on the right-hand column, or let us know at contactus -AT- neurodudes.com!