An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at IBM have created microchips inspired by the basic functioning of the human brain. They believe the chips could perform tasks that humans excel at but computers normally don't. So far they have been taught to recognize handwriting, play Pong, and guide a car around a track. The same researchers previously modeled this kind of neurologically inspired computing using supercomputer simulations, and claimed to have simulated the complexity of a cat's cortex — a claim that sparked a firestorm of controversy at the time. The new hardware is designed to run this same software much more efficiently."