[p2p-research] How Much Power Does The Human Brain Require To Operate?

Ryan rlanham1963 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 00:40:01 CET 2009

  Sent to you by Ryan via Google Reader: How Much Power Does The Human
Brain Require To Operate? via Blogging the Singularity by
podcast at bloggingthesingularity.com (Chris Williamson) on 11/9/09

According to Kwabena Boahen, a computer scientist at Stanford
University, a robot with a processor as smart as the human brain would
require at least 10 megawatts to operate. That’s the amount of energy
produced by a small hydroelectric plant. But a small group of computer
scientists may have hit on a new neural supercomputer that could
someday emulate the human brain’s low energy requirements of just 20
watts–barely enough to run a dim light bulb.

Discover Magazine has the story on how the Neurogrid computer could
completely overhaul the traditional approach to computers. It trades
the extreme precision of digital transistors for the brain’s chaos of
many neurons firing, with misfires 30 percent to 90 percent of the
time. Yet the brain works with this messy system by relying on crowds
of neurons to shout over the noise of misfires and competing signals.

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