Researchers have long been trying to model actual brains in order to build a better computer "brain," and it looks like IBM is now getting a helping hand from none other than DARPA in its attempt to create one that it hopes will one day have the intelligence level of a cat. To that somewhat unnerving end, DARPA is pouring $4.9 million into a project that'll include five universities and scientists of all stripes, who will work together to create an artificial brain that behaves like a real one right down to the neuron level. As the BBC reports, the researchers are describing this latest initiative as a "180 degree shift in perspective" from previous efforts, as they're now seeking an algorithm first and problems second, as opposed to starting with an objective and devising an algorithm to achieve it. As for DARPA's ultimate goal, well, that's still a bit of a mystery, though let's just say we won't be surprised if future robots start to become very easily distracted.

[Via Daily Tech, image courtesy Mack J, Truth and Beauty Bombs]