Can Your Brain Be Replaced By a Supercomputer?


Dr. Reza Rooholamini, director of enterprise solutions engineering group for Dell, recently wrote an article with that headline appearing in The Financial Times. To me the headline sounds like an extension of the movie The Matrix, but maybe that's just me. (Personal note: Perhaps I'm one of the few people that didn't see that movie, though I often have people address me as "MISTERRRRRRR. ANDERSONNNNNN!").

In the article, Guido Russo from Italy's University of Naples points out the challenges he faces in his research but adds that his university is now able to afford high performance computers that greatly ease these issues. Russo is but one of thousands of individuals and organizations that are benefiting from the increased accessibility of high-performance computing. Click over the article when you have a few minutes – it's a good read on this area of the tech world.

So, the answer to the question first posed? Probably not. While NEC is currently working on a a computer that would perform at 10 petaflops, the system will cost about $1.8 billion and will still perform at half the power of the human brain. And I would imagine it would draw far greater power than the 20 watts required of my brain as I type these words.

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One thought on “Can Your Brain Be Replaced By a Supercomputer?

  1. Bruce, just wait 10-15 years. By then, it's likely we'll have PCs more powerful than that.

    THEN we can start talking about brain upgrades…

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