DeepMind Technologies, a company owned by Google, is working on the Neural Turing Machine (NTM), a computer that would ultimately program itself.
According BetaBeat.com, the goal for the NTM is to create computer programs for unfamiliar situations just as a humans do today.
The NTM uses "neural networks," which have been around for years, but takes this artificial intelligence to a new level.
"These neural networks that are so good at recognizing patterns, a traditional domain for humans, are not so good at doing the stuff your calculator has done for a long time," Jurgen Schmidhuber of the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence Research in Manno, Switzerland, told New Scientist.
If successful, the NTM would have the calculating power of a normal computer combined with adaptability of a human, enabling it to write programs for new situations.
During a recent test, DeepMind Technologies found that the NTM learned faster and could reproduce longer blocks of code than a normal neural network.
The NTM's methodology resembled a human programmer.
"As humans we classify but we also manipulate the classification," Chris Eliasmith of the University of Waterloo, Canada, told New Scientist. "If you want to build a computer that is cognitive in the way that we are, it is going to require this kind of control."
"Digital computers are basically hitting a wall," added Eliasmith. "If we want to use our most efficient hardware, we have to express our algorithms in a manner which fits."
Another team from Google recently announced that it created a neural network that can reads and executes simple computer code without being taught the programming language.