“You can give the neurons instructions about what to do – in our case we tell it to provide a receptor that can detect explosives."
A computer expert has developed a super computer based on the workings of the brain to detect explosives, potentially changing forever the way security agencies police their borders. Nigerian Oshi Agabi created the device – named Koniku Kore – to mimic the neurons in the brain, reverse-engineering biology so it can undertake hugely complicated tasks beyond the capabilities of modern-day processors.
Today’s computers, while unmatched in their ability to solve complex mathematical equations, can’t surpass the power of the brain’s cognitive functions, such as smell – something Agabe plans to change. Should the device go into widespread use it could see an end to the dogs (which are among the only detectors of explosives the use smell) from airports altogether, instead populating ports, train stations and airport terminals with fail-safe devices that could see an end to ever-lengthening security queues.
Explaining the different direction that the technology is taking, Agabi said: “Biology is technology. Bio is tech. Our deep learning networks are all copying the brain.
“You can give the neurons instructions about what to do – in our case we tell it to provide a receptor that can detect explosives,” added the inventor who launched the Koniku start-up more than a year ago raising in excess of £800,000 in funding. According to Agabi, Koniku Kore now turns over a profit of more than £7m.
“In the same way that a dog is able to detect if someone has prostate cancer, the real question we ask is ‘how does a dog do it?’,” he asked, going on to explain that the “sensory system” is one that can be replicated on the device’s chip.
Household names of the technology world, Google and Microsoft, are also said to be leading a charge to develop similar technologies, with both companies investing heavily to create artificial intelligence based on the human brain.
Meanwhile, the man’s best friend that Agabi’s invention could replace has been in the news last week after sniffer dogs were revealed to have been trained to detect hidden digital storage devices – heralded as a key weapon in the fight against paedophiles, terrorists and fraudsters.
The Devon & Cornwall Police-trained dogs have been used to sniff out hidden data devices, such as USB sticks and SD cards, after UK dog trainers worked with their Connecticut counterparts who use digital detection dogs to great effect to tackle crime. That success has been transferred to the UK, where the hairy security guards have already been used in more than 50 executed warrants.
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