IBM is training computers to act like the human brain - and the benefits for business could be huge.

Researchers at the tech giant are working on the concept of cognitive storage, in which computers learn how to differentiate between high value and low value data and store it appropriately.

With data becoming increasingly important to business - and ever larger amounts being made available or bought in - the development could change the way companies archive and use it.

“The memories you are recalling were captured because your brain automatically puts a high value on significant experiences, such as a beautiful sunset or an amazing dinner,” IBM said in a statement.

“Simultaneously, your brain also automatically puts a low value or forgets irrelevant things like waiting at a traffic light or checking in for your flight. With cognitive storage, computers can do the same.

“Computers can be taught to learn the difference between high value and low value data i.e. memories or information, and this differentiation can be used to determine what is stored, where it is stored and for how long.”

The research by Giovanni Cherubini, Jens Jelitto and Vinodh Venkatesan was published this week in the journal Computer.

 

“The idea is based on a metric they call data value, which is analogous to determining the value of a piece of art - the higher the demand and the rarer the piece typically means it will have a higher value, requiring tight security,” continued IBM.

“For example, if 1,000 employees are accessing the same files every day, the value of that data set should be very high, just like a priceless Van Gogh.

“A cognitive storage system would learn this and store those files on fast media like flash. In addition, the system would automatically back up these files multiple times.

“Lastly, the files may want to have extra security so they cannot be accessed without authorisation.

“In many situations, data value can also change over time and a cognitive storage system can also adapt."