The human brain, with its uncanny ability to process so many information simultaneously with so little power, has long been a subject of great interest to computer scientists. There have been so many attempts to develop computers that perform human-like functions, such as learning, and now all these efforts seem to have paid off as IBM recently unveiled a new microchip based on the human brain.
IBM claims that this new chip is capable of learning. Though it performs tasks that normal chips could very well do, what's amazing is that it does them on its own, without the need of any program. This mind-boggling, brain-mimicking chip contains 256 neurons. This doesn't even come close to the estimated 100 billion neurons that make up the human brain but it is a good start. It is a move towards what IBM calls "cognitive computing", enabling machines to function much the same way as humans do, allowing for more powerful and efficient processing.
Indeed, we are now seeing the dawn of a new generation of computers - ones that are capable of intelligence. It won't be long until machines would be capable of functions and processes that were once only humanly possible. Does this mean the rise of the machines, and consequently, the end of our race? Sounds a little funny, I know. With all the technological breakthroughs nowadays such as this, though, it becomes a valid concern. We've all seen what can happen in countless sci-fi flicks (think Terminator haha), so maybe there is a danger in creating machines with AI. But hey, challenges are a part of every major change in technology. Fact still remains that computers/machines are merely human inventions. No matter how smart they can get, there will always be something innately human that would make us prevail over our mechanical counterparts.