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Allen Institute Data Enables Hackathon For the Human Brain 37

Posted by timothy
from the proving-the-old-brains-in-jars-theory dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Hackathons are not exactly uncommon things, whether the programmers are assembled to improve a company product or simply to tackle a particular challenge. Few of them, however, offer the chance to hack the human brain. That was the reason behind the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science's week-long hackathon: give 30 participants from various universities and institutes, along with a smattering of technology companies, the chance to develop data-analysis tools based on the latest version of the Institute's Allen Brain Atlas API, which was released earlier in June. Projects and applications included that crunched a list of genes to discover disease patterns. Another translated genomic data into music—because when it comes to data-crunching and neuroscience, you can't be deadly serious all the time." Be careful what you wish for, though, in applying AI to regular I: New submitter jontyl writes of a project led by Google's Dr Jeff Dean which used a "16,000 processor array to create a brain-style 'neural network' with more than a billion connections." Says the article: "There's a certain grim inevitability to the fact that the YouTube company's creation began watching stills from cat videos."
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Allen Institute Data Enables Hackathon For the Human Brain

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  • Not enough time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:56AM (#40451891)

    One week to analyze petabytes of information is absurdly brief. Just to transfer two petabytes in one week requires a data rate of 3550 Megabytes/sec. A somewhat sane amount of time for this would be to analyze the data for an entire summer. Otherwise, they're only working with a small subset of the data - possibly not enough to be statistically significant. Bringing 30 people to task for this for one week is like trying to make a baby in one month by using 9 women. It could be fun to try, but it just isn't going to happen.

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