Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Building a Silicone Brain

Technology Review has a great article about the ongoing efforts to simulate a human brain in a chip. previous efforts have been in software. The major advantage is that a hard-wired version runs much much faster and requires less computing power.

From the article:
  • The silicon chip is designed to function like a human brain. With 200,000 neurons linked up by 50 million synaptic connections, the chip is able to mimic the brain's ability to learn more closely than any other machine.
Of course this is no where near the scope of a real human brain, but the tech is designed to be scaled up. All of this in hopes of understanding how to develop massively parallel computers.

The one thing that really struck me about this article was the statement:
  • ...the current prototype can operate about 100,000 times faster than a real human brain. "We can simulate a day in a second,"
Think about what would happen should the science fiction kick in and its scaled to the point that it becomes self aware. But at 100,000 times normal a year happens in 6 minutes and a century in what 10 hours? So if this were you and you just woke up 100,000 times faster than anything else...well that means for all intents everything is frozen and you spend a century in 10 hours say and a milenium in something like 41 days. So they run you non stop for a month and a thousand years goes by....imagine....


Anonymous said...

Hey Paul!

Are they building a boob brain or a smart brain? Those silicone brains do have a tendency to leak! :)

Beam Me Up said...

yeah, for those brains that leave one feeling inadequate....