Saturday, January 05, 2013

Human Brain Project

The human brain has extraordinary functions and it is the most powerful computer imaginable. The Human Brain Project wants to start building a computer model of the brain and simulate its functions. It consists of a large international number of neuroscientists, physicists and other groups from the scientific community that aims to recreate the human brain inside a supercomputer with a budget of 1 Billion Euro.
As modern computers exploit ever-higher numbers of parallel computing elements, they face a power wall: power consumption rises with the number of processors, potentially to unsustainable levels. By contrast, the brain manages billions of processing units connected via kilometers of fibres and trillions of synapses, while consuming no more power than a light bulb. Understanding how it does this can provide the key not only to a completely new category of hardware but to a paradigm shift for computing as a whole, moving away from current models of “bit precise” computing towards new techniques that exploit the stochastic behavior of simple, very fast, low-power computing devices embedded in intensely recursive architectures. 


In short, the goal of the Human Brain Project is to build an infrastructure for future neuroscience, future medicine and future computing that will catalyze a global collaborative effort to understand the human brain and its diseases and ultimately to emulate its computational capabilities. The economic and industrial impact is potentially enormous.

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