AI v The Human Brain

How does the brain compute? - and relating this to AI. 

IMAGE: Sonny Sarma

IMAGE: Sonny Sarma

Modern neurological research has shown that the brain is neither analog nor digital.

Human brains work by sending information as signals with pulses or spikes. Even though neurons fire in an all-or-nothing pulse, both the exact timing of the pulse and the probability of the pulse occurring have analog components.

Paul King, fmr UC Berkeley Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience explains that a neuron fires or it does not. These all-or-nothing pulses are the basic language of the brain. So in this sense, the brain is computing using something like binary signals. Instead of 1s and 0s, or "on" and "off", the brain uses "spike" or "no spike" (referring to the firing of a neuron).

.Frits van Paasschen author of The Disruptors’ Feast details how the larger tech companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA and Intel have created chips for deep-learning chores and how Intel have been exploring neuromorphic tech applying simulated neurons that can pass along signals of varying strength, much like the neurons in our own brains.

Frits van Paasschen puts this development into perspective for us with the following excerpt from his book:

“Intel's Loihi chip has 1,024 artificial neurons, or 130,000 simulated neurons with 130 million possible synaptic connections. That's a bit more complex than, say, a lobster's brain, but a long ways from our 80 billion neurons.”

The structure and mechanics of the human brain of course dictate it’s functionality.  Key considerations when comparing the capabilities of a computer compared to our far superior brain is the speed at which the “signals” can be processed and the volume of data that can be stored.

Subscribe and stay up to date as we'll soon be adding articles on neuromorphic tech, quantum computing and 3D neural processing.

Also on the publishing schedule for our AI mash-up are The SIngularity, The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and an exciting look at the many use-cases - today and in the future.

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