Scientists are claiming that a functional, artificial brain is only a decade away. This prediction correlates with the above chart, according to which our current computing capabilities limit us to...simulated lizard brains.
Photo by Journal of Evolution and Technology
Using an BM Blue Gene machine with 10,000 processors, the folks at the Blue Brain Project are creating simulations to figure out exactly how our brains work. So far they've got a "model of 'tens of thousands' of neurons" and lofty goals:
Ultimately, the aim would be to extract that representation and project it so that researchers could see directly how a brain perceives the world.
But as well as advancing neuroscience and philosophy, the Blue Brain project has other practical applications.
For example, by pooling all the world's neuroscience data on animals - to create a "Noah's Ark", researchers may be able to build animal models.
"We cannot keep on doing animal experiments forever," said Professor Markram.
It may also give researchers new insights into diseases of the brain.
"There are two billion people on the planet affected by mental disorder," he told the audience.
The project may give insights into new treatments, he said.