BrainChains

What is your most important tool to be successful as a professional? Your brain!
What do you know about your thinking brain that's useful for your everyday work? Nothing.
The sad result: you ruin the performance of your magnificent brain, and obstruct the matchless potential of your brain-ICT collaboration (Information and Communication Technologies).Taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of your brain you will also get the best results from your brain-ICT synergy.

In this blog I will mix recent discoveries with useful practical consequences, and ideas from my book "BRAINCHAINS. Discover your brain and unleash its full potential in a hyperconnected multitasking world".
More information about my book at: www.brainchains.info

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Don’t believe the ignorant stories about computers rivalling your brain.

Your 1,5 kg brain consumes 30 watt. A computer model: 40,000 ton consuming 4 Gigawatt
You certainly heard stories about computers 80 billion neurons plus 80 billion glia, brings the total number of brain cells that help us to process data to about ± 160 billion, or 160,000 million. This is 48 times more than the number of people on earth connected to the Internet in 2012. It is half the number of all the stars in the Milky Way.
The neurons that play the lead role are linked with 1,000 to 400,000 other neurons. This gives us more than 8 quadrillion ever changing connections if we take an average of 100.000 connections. At the tip of each connection we have a kind of chemical transistors (vesicles) that make a connection when the current in the cell reaches a particular threshold. If we take an average of 50 active ones, this means that we have 400 quadrillion transistors in our brain.  Are you still with me?

If one of you is a mathematician, I’d love you to compute how many possible combinations and permutations are possible with 8 quadrillion connections. I am totally lost in these astronomical numbers.

The human brain is so mind-boggling in fact that even for a human brain it is, for the time being, impossible to fully understand it. spiNNaker is one of the most sophisticated brain simulators. It’s unbelievable yet true: The inventors of a computer that primitively mimics 1% of the brain are proud that their custom-built chips use only 1 Watt each, and that the computer, when finished, will consume only 50,000 Watt and weigh only 900 pounds[1]. Hence a computer that very primitively mimics the working of a human brain would be the size of a big plane hangar, weigh a massive 40,000 tons and consume roughly all the megawatts of 4 nuclear power plants. And yet you carry more than that amount of computing power around in your skull as only 3 pounds of wetware consuming a mere 30 Watt!
Do you agree now that the human brain is utterly amazing, totally unique and still far superior to the fantastic Information and Communication Technology we built?

Prof Dr Theo Compernolle's most recent book is "BRAINCHAINS. Discover your brain and unleash its full potential in a hyperconnected multitasking world".
Available at Amazon.com or a bookstore near you. More info at www.BrainChains.org




[1] SpiNNaker: A 1-W 18-Core System-on-Chip for Massively-Parallel Neural Network Simulation. S.B.  Painkras, E.; Plana, L.A.; Garside, J.; Temple, S.; Galluppi, F.; Patterson, C.; Lester, D.R.; Brown, A.D.; Furber,  Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of, Issue Date: Aug. 2013, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/icp.jsp?arnumber=6515159
Power analysis of large-scale, real-time neural networks on SpiNNaker. Evangelos Stromatias, Francesco Galluppi, Cameron Patterson and Steve Furber. 2013. neuromorphs.net . https://www.neuromorphs.net/nm/raw-attachment/wiki/2013/uns13/Power_analysis_of_large_scale_real_time_neural_networks_on_SpiNNaker.pdf
Improving the Interconnection Network of a Brain Simulator. Jonathan Heathcote. 2013 http://jhnet.co.uk/misc/phdFirstYearReport.pdf
SpiNNaker: A 1-W 18-Core System-on-Chip for Massively-Parallel Neural Network Simulation. Painkras, E.; Plana, L.A.; Garside, J.; Temple, S.; Galluppi, F.; Patterson, C.; Lester, D.R.; Brown, A.D.; Furber, S.B. Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of, Issue Date: Aug. 2013

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