IBM and four universities are planning to study cognitive computing in a research project whose goal is to develop computers that operate in a manner that's similar to the way the human mind works.
The researchers hope to create systems that outperform Watson, the IBM supercomputer that, among other things, famously competed on the TV game show Jeopardy!
The company said its partners will be Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, New York University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The project will involve the study of big data, to find new ways to use computers to process large volumes of structured and unstructured data.
Topics to be explored include how applications can boost group decision-making, how processing power and algorithms apply to artificial intelligence, how systems should be designed for more natural interaction and how deep learning impacts automated pattern recognition.
Another IBM project seeks to imitate how neurons receive sensory input and connect with each other. That effort is called Synapse, for Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics.