Research proposal: Darwin vs. DARPA: Evolution of a Neural Controller to play Tetris

<p>The goal of the DARPA-funded SyNAPSE project is to build a microprocessor-based machine that mimics many of the characteristics of biological neural networks (i.e., high connectivity, synapse plastic- ity, and scale). The proposed device is termed a neuromorphic machine, and recent simulations have indeed approached biological scale. However, while SyNAPSE has been demonstrated on a variety of tasks, from optical character recognition and classification to control of quadrotor helicopters, it has done so at a cost of $42 million. In contrast, the BEACON-funded DvD (“Darwin vs. DARPA”) project has demonstrated the evolution of logic circuits that outperform SyNAPSE on optical character recognition for 1/1000th of the cost. In this phase of the DvD project, we now turn our attention to a more complex task: Evolving logic circuits that play the computer game “Tetris.”</p>