Are Supercomputers Close To Replicating The Brain?

Citing competing teams on both sides of the Atlantic, this article describes “the race to develop cognitive computing by reverse engineering the brain.”

While IBM is using the world’s fourth-fastest supercomputer, the same supercomputer is also being used by the Blue Brain project at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. (The head of the project notes the difficulty in “recreating the three-dimensional structure of the brain in a 2-D piece of silicon… It’s not a brain. It’s more of a computer processor that has some of the accelerated parallel computing that the brain has.”)

Meanwhile IBM still hopes “to noninvasively measure and map the connections between all cortical and sub-cortical locations within the human brain using magnetic resonance diffusion weighted imaging.”

With rapidly accelerating advances in supercomputer architectures, can a simulated human brain be far off?

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  • SecretSteve

    I don't know that the big deal is. Dick Cheney's been using a simulated human brain for decades.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I really wish they would realize the silliness in attempting to re-create the human brain through digital electronics. The assumption is that the power in the brain lies only in computer terms. Attempting to quantize the number of FLOPS in the human brain or conceptualize the number of active parallel connections is nonsense.

    Note how complicated a single cell is, then consider the number of cells in the brain. Next, consider that neural cells are some of the least understood cells in the body (especially cells that aren’t neurons). Finally, consider how ridiculous the assumption is that the brain as a whole could be simpler than a single cell (which alone i’m sure would be terribly difficult to emulate with a computer.)

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I really wish they would realize the silliness in attempting to re-create the human brain through digital electronics. The assumption is that the power in the brain lies only in computer terms. Attempting to quantize the number of FLOPS in the human brain or conceptualize the number of active parallel connections is nonsense.

    Note how complicated a single cell is, then consider the number of cells in the brain. Next, consider that neural cells are some of the least understood cells in the body (especially cells that aren’t neurons). Finally, consider how ridiculous the assumption is that the brain as a whole could be simpler than a single cell (which alone i’m sure would be terribly difficult to emulate with a computer.)