The three pounds of tissue on the top of our spines is the source of our thoughts, rationality, feelings, emotions, and cognition. Inside that lump of tissue, are millions and millions of neurons and hundred of thousands of miles long connections that make us what we are.. Humans.
With processing power of 100 trillion instructions every second, a human brain is the fastest processing unit in the known universe. The computers we build today don’t even come near to the amount of information our brain processes, stores, and analyzes every second of every day untll up to six hours of our death.
A team of Japenese scientists did a research on simulating a human brain’s activity via a supercomputer to analyze how much time and memory would be required to perform the task. The results were mind blowingly unreal: to simulate only a 1% of brain activity, it took world’s fourth fastest supercomputer, the K Computer, with computational power of 10 petaflops (1 peta = 1,000,000,000,000,000), 40 minutes to complete. According to this research, it’d take more than two and a half days to simulate 1 second activity for an entire human brain. That is, if, we were able to build up a computer with required memory and computational power. That itself is an impossibility for the next 10 years at least.
Markus Diesman, the project leader of this reaseach expresses in a press release, “If peta-scale computers like the K computer are capable of representing 1% 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 exa-scale computers hopefully available within the next decade.”
Today, not only companies like IBM, but also governments like United States (BRAIN initiative) and Europe (Human Brain Project) are trying to figure out the mysteries of human brain. Let’s see what the mysteries they are going to reveal.