IBM Research’s 2006 Almaden Institute Conference on Cognitive Computing

“Visualization is a way of pre-screening the data…. and having fun at the same time”-Henry Markram, 01:08:10

Way back in 2006 (yes, it’s already 7 years ago!) IBM’s Almaden Research Center held their annual Almaden Institute summit – intended to “[bring] together eminent, innovative thinkers from academia, government, industry, research labs and the media for an intellectually charged, stimulating and vigorous dialogue that addresses fundamental challenges at the very edge of science and technology.” That year, the theme was Cognitive Computing. I  first saw a few of these truly fascinating presentations on the now defunct Google Videos – however as the service shut down in late august, these presentations disappeared into the digital abyss. I dug deeply, and found them hosted on the Almaden website. Sometime after november, IBM removed the webpage that links to the video presentations & associated materials. The files are apparently still on the server, but I can’t say they will remain so. Back when I did first find the Almaden 2006 website, I was (thankfully) smart enough to mirror it. Given the phenomenal educational value thereof, I feel compelled to make this easily accessible.

:Almaden Institute Cognitive Computing (resources – click to download .zip file)

Original homepage (via my dropbox)

Above I have attached the supplementary materials, and hereafter I will cleanup and upload all of the presentations to YouTube, ideally in order.

<In progress>

Introduction (Dharmendra S. Modha, Mark Dean) & first speaker (8:50am → 10:10am) Gerald Edelman of The Neurosciences Institute: From Brain Dynamics to Consciousness: A Prelude to the Future of Brain-Based Devices

Related PPT: Almaden Institute Gerald Edelman

Second speaker (10:30am → 11:30am): Henry Markram

Related (50MB)PPT: Almaden Institute Henry Markram

Third speaker (12:30pm → 1:30pm) Robert Hecht-Nielsen, of UCSD: The Mechanism of Thought

Related PDF: Almaden Institute Robert Hecht-Nielsen

Fourth speaker (1:30pm → 2:30pm) Jeff Hawkins, of Palm & Numenta: Hierarchical Temporal Memory: Theory and Implementation

Related PPT: Almaden Institute Jeff Hawkins

3:00pm → 4:30pm Panel: How the brain works, what it computes, and how/when we might build intelligent machines with: James Albus of NIST, Theodore Berger of USC, Kwabena Boahen of Stanford, Ralph Linsker of IBM, Jerry Swartz of The Swartz Foundation, & moderated by:  Dilip Kandlur, Director of Storage Systems at the Almaden Research Center

James Albus PPT: Almaden Institute James Albus

Ralph Linsker PPT: Almaden Institute Ralph Linsker

Theodore Berger PPT: Almaden Institute Theodore W. Berger

Kwabena Boahen PPT: Almaden Institute Kwabena Boahen

Ralph Linsker PPT: Almaden Institute Ralph Linsker

Jerome “Jerry” Swartz PPT: Almaden Institute Jerome Swartz

Dinner Speaker,  V. S. Ramachandran of UCSD: The Uniqueness of the Human Brain

Related PPT: Almaden Institute V.S. Ramachandran

Day 2 Opening Remarks by Laura Haas and first speaker (9:00am→10:10am) John Searle of UC Berkeley: Beyond Dualism

He did it the old-fashioned way

Second Speaker (10:30am→11:30am) Joaquin Fuster of UCLA: Cortical Dynamics of Working Memory

Related PPT: Almaden Institute Joaquin M. Fuster

Third Speaker (12:30pm→1:30pm) Leslie Valiant of Harvard University: A Quantitative Theory of Cortex

I’ve octuple-checked, but I have neither his presentation nor any indication that it was available.

Fourth Speaker (1:30pm→2:30pm) Toby Berger of the University of Virginia: The Four C’s of Neuroinformation Theory: Coding, Computing, Control and Cognition

Related PPT: Almaden Institute Toby Berger

Fifth Speaker(3:00pm→4:00pm)  Christof Koch of Caltech: Consciousness

Unfortunately, it seems his presentation is also unavailable.

Concluding Panel, All aforementioned speakers, moderated by William Pulleyblank, Vice President of IBM Global Services; Followed by closing remarks by Stuart Feldman, Vice President Computer Science at IBM

Original agenda – zipped because wordpress won’t let me upload a shtml file: agenda

All presentations (just the PPTs/PDFs), zipped: Almaden_cognitve


  • Added Henry Markram, 12/30/12
  • UPDATE (2/10/13): I was hit particularly hard when my computer died – my video editing/remastering environment was terribly hard to set up the first time, and seems even harder the second!pm
  • 8/25/2013 → Added introduction, first speaker, third speaker, fourth speaker, ‘how the brain works’ panel, Ramachandran@Dinner, day 2’s opening remarks, day 2’s first speaker, day 2’s second speaker, day 2’s third speaker, day 2’s fourth speaker, day 2’s fifth speaker, and the concluding panel.
  • 8/27/13 Fixed weird formatting bugs

~ by Alexander Riccio on December 26, 2012.

4 Responses to “IBM Research’s 2006 Almaden Institute Conference on Cognitive Computing”

  1. […] 3 weeks ago I had just finished rebuilding my environment, and restarted re-encoding IBM’s 2006 conference. I had also finished swapping the stock fan for my heatsink (a Coolermaster Hyper 212+) with a much […]


  2. […] this out! IBM Almaden has produced the world’s smallest […]


  3. […] I’ve finished uploading all files! Check it out. […]


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