Blue Brain Out-Thinks Its Critics

Posted 29 Mar 2008 at 23:15 UTC by steve Share This

We first posted about the Blue Brain Project back in 2005. The idea was to use massive computing power to accurately simulate enough biological neurons to reproduce part of a mammal brain's functionality. The project was widely criticized as "ridiculous". With the recent successful conclusion of the project's first phase, critics who claimed the project was "bound to fail" have been effectively proven wrong. The current system accurately reproduces the neocortical column of a two-week old rat, composed of 10,000 neurons with 30 types of ion channels and 30 million interconnections. Surprisingly, at least to the critics, the computational structure does what the biological structure does even at the level of individual neurons. But don't get too excited yet, the researchers believe reproducing an entire Human brain would require processing over 500 petabytes of data. A computer like that is 10 years away if Moore's law continues to hold. To build it using today's processors would result in a brain that costs $3 billion per year in electricity to operate (versus our meat brains that need only 25 watts!) Meanwhile, SEED magazine has an article about the recent achievements of the Blue Brain and the conscious entities blog has written some thoughtful commentary about the project.

A Two-Week Old Rat, posted 30 Mar 2008 at 13:35 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

Sounds like some people I know.

Since some folks say humans only use 3% of their brain(s) at any time (and others even less) perhaps they don't need to make such a big 500 pentabyte full brain simulation computer! :-)

For neural network development to progress at a better rate and become a reasonable solution, we can't rely on the current CPU hardware with software on top paradigm. Hardware will have to become more multi-neuron-like to overcome the current processing & energy hurdles.

I have this vision of a robo-rat with little beady glowing red eyes and long sharp pointy teeth!

See more of the latest robot news!

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