First off lets ignore the lame image here. One of the more interesting companies playing around in the field of Machine learning (AI) whatever you wish to call it has opened up their development algorithms. Numenta, the baby of Jeff Hawkins has opened their doors for developers to drive there development environment. This is fantastic stuff.
Hawkins book "on intelligence" which I reviewed earlier is a fascinating read on consciousness and mind and the role played by the Neocortex. I would urge anyone interested in AI or theories of learning to read it. I used to work with early neural nets and genetic algorithms trying to predict bond and currency markets as an undergrad. It was a hobby. Needless to say, I was getting a lot of action as an undergrad:)
The theories postulated here and the potential for moving forward with machine learning is deeply interesting. Hawkins HTM theory is interesting with its focus on the Neocortex and associative learning. It treats this thin layered outer coating of the brains the place where the magic happens, converting qualia into biological associative bits so to speak. This leaves the bulk of the grey matter out of the equation. It will be interesting to see how the wetware guys think about this new silica approach.
Hawkins got slammed a bit in a video presentation as just putting up a new recursive neural net. I think that was mistaken. I look forward to reading papers and stories about Numenta's approach. A lot of researchers will debunk the approach showing it to be poor at older tests and data sets that neural nets excel at. But in the long run, I bet with Hawkins. HTM won't answer the mystery of consciousness, but it will start making things a lot smarter a lot faster. The future just started getting here a little faster.