Now the accuracy of that claim
and the validity of the project is being called
into question. Henry Markham, a leading neuroscientist
blasted the project and Mr. Modha's claims calling them a "hoax".
Ironically, Mr. Markham also works on a project affiliated with IBM,
dubbed "Blue Brain". He complains that Mr. Modha
simply put together a "PR stunt here to ride on Blue Brain.”
describes in an open letter to Bernard Myerson, IBM’s Chief
Technology Officer, "What IBM reported is a scam - no where near
a cat-scale brain simulation. I am absolutely shocked at this
announcement. Not because it is any kind of technical feat, but
because of the mass deception of the public."
All these kinds of simulations are trivial and have
been around for decades - simply called artificial neural network
(ANN) simulations. We even stooped to doing these kinds of
simulations as bench mark tests 4 years ago with 10’s of millions
of such points… If we (or anyone else) wanted to we could easily do
this for a billion “points”, but we would certainly not call it a
cat-scale simulation. It is really no big deal to simulate a billion
points interacting if you have a big enough computer. The only step
here is that they have at their disposal a big computer. For a grown
up “researcher” to get excited because one can simulate billions
of points interacting is ludicrous.
…This is light years away from a cat brain, not even
close to an ants brain in complexity. It is highly unethical of Mohda
to mislead the public in making people believe they have actually
simulated a cat’s brain…. That IBM and DARPA would support such
deceptive announcements is even more shocking.
Mr. Modha had claimed last week that his simulation of a billion
neurons and 10 trillion neural synapses on IBM hardware was roughly
the equivalent of a cat brain. His colleagues lauded the
accomplishment, with some comparing his work to the magnitude of work
done on the Large Hadron Collider project.
criticism is diverse. Among other things he says that the point
representation of neurons are incomplete as they don't simulate the
complex effects of ion channels or more complex phenomena like
He says the "brain" developed isn't even as complex as
an ant brain and is hardly praise worthy.