Sunday, December 19, 2010

Larry Smarr - Supercomputing and the Human Brain

TOPIC: "Larry Smarr discusses the state of the art in supercomputing, with a focus on how current computation compares to the human brain and when supercomputers will surpass human processing power. Current supercomputers are estimated to match the human visual cortex and will reach human brain's computational ability within the next twenty years."

SOURCE: SingularityU

COMMENTS: My sense is that most of these predictions are naive. We may be able to build a machine with the "computing power" of the human brain, but that is a FAR cry from creating a machine with the "intelligences" of a human mind.

The biggest mistake, in my opinion, is equating the brain with the mind. Mind and consciousness include a lot more than what goes on in the lump of lipids between our ears. Our whole complex biological body is operating as a feedback system that constantly updates and revises the function of the brain, especially in the realm of adding new information, much of which is non-linear and non-logical - I can see no current way to duplicate those systems, that degree of complexity, in a computer model.

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