ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
ECE News

Letting computers dream

ECE associate professor JoAnn Paul recently received a $191,709 grant from the National Science Foundation to research a new concept for parallel computing: designing computers based on the principles of human dreaming.

“When we dream, we shut off as many inputs as possible and, literally, stimulate our own minds internally and with nonlogical imagery,” she says.

“The need to dream can be inferred from the brain’s most striking physical and behavioral characteristics. These characteristics can be applied to computer organization and lend insight into how computation can reach results that cannot be reached in conventional computer organization.”

Using the Dream Architecture for Lateral Intelligence (DALI), Paul is using two modes: awake and dreaming. While awake, some lateral processors will be active and some will be observers. In the dream phase, the processors will use condensed playback – simulating dreaming — to resolve which of the multiple models executing on the lateral processors should dominate under different circumstances. The initial application for this research is speech recognition in pervasive computing devices.