Supercomputer No Match for Brain

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There are a great many things that computers can do – particularly when we’re using more than 100% of their power most of the time (hello overclocking). Thus, it would seem logical to assume that computers could outshoot the human brain in a good old fashioned contest of wills. If you placed your money on the computer, you’d lose. In fact, one researcher has even bet $2,000 that it will be almost a decade before the computer can even compete.

To get this data, scientists in Japan used the K Computer, which is the world’s fourth most powerful supercomputer. They simulated just one percent of the total neuronal network of the brain. This feat took a total of 705,024 processor cores, and a staggering 1.4 million GB worth of RAM, but with those guns in hand, it was go time.

Unfortunately for the K computer, it was severely outclassed by the brain. In fact, outclassed barely begins to describe it. The brain performed in one second what it took the supercomputer 40 minutes to accomplish. In other words, the human brain was 2,400 times faster than one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

According to an interview published in the Daily Telegraph, Mark Diesmann, one of the scientists, said, “If petascale computers like the K computer are capable of representing one per cent of the network of a human brain today, then we know that simulating the whole brain at the level of the individual nerve cell and its synapses will be possible with exascale computers – hopefully available within the next decade.”

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Supercomputer No Match for Brain
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