Over at the Smarter Planet Blog, Dharmendra S. Modha writes that, just as Fortran powered the last 60 years of scientific computing, the coming era will be powered by Cognitive Computing that gathers huge quantities of data, reasons over the data, and learns from interactions with information and people. To make this possible, he contends that scientists will have to re-architect nearly every aspect of computing and develop an all-new programming paradigm.
Enter the corelet model. It’s a high-level description of a software program that is based on re-usable building blocks of code—the corelets. Each corelet represents a method for getting something done using the combination of computation (neuron), memory (synapses), and communication (axons) on individual neurosynaptic processor cores along with inter-core connectivity. Each corelet hides or encapsulates all details except external inputs and outputs. Corelets are like LEGO blocks. Small individual corelets handle simple functions. When combined, they create new, larger corelets that aggregate functions and add new ones while hiding the underlying component corelets. In this way, the programmer can write large and complex programs using existing building blocks. Using this model and the programming language for executing on it, it will be possible for programmers to produce a large quantity of efficient code with relatively little effort and for people who are not programming experts to create sophisticated cognitive applications. That’s much the same effect that FORTRAN had on the computing world in its early days.