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View Full Version : brain vs. computer (brain wins hands down)



hk_mp5kpdw
09-15-2003, 07:27 AM
Interesting article on memory capacity of the human brain versus computers: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_medical/story.jsp?story=443276


While even the biggest computer has a capacity of around 10,000,000,000,000 bytes (10 to the power of 12), the human brain has a colossal 10 followed by 8,432 noughts, say the scientists who made the calculations in the journal Brain and Mind.

Wow, 10^12 versus 10^8432 is quite the gap.

Govtcheez
09-15-2003, 07:36 AM
But I still can't remember where I put my keys.

FillYourBrain
09-15-2003, 07:40 AM
Brain will always win!


edit: Now that I saw the article, I know you weren't talking about me.:confused:

kermit
09-15-2003, 09:14 AM
Yipes, that is a tad bit of a difference huh? But how about the people I know who run slower than a 486?

lol

Fountain
09-15-2003, 02:00 PM
Its very interesting this-good topic!

edit! oh stupid slow site today! See below :)

Fountain
09-15-2003, 02:03 PM
Brilliant subject! The brain is indeed fascinating. Problem with all that memory is we cant access it all, except maybe under hypnosis.

Its true we remember everything, but at least computers dont remember SOME things with a lower priority than others (like the brain does).

Think about it-you may remember your first day at school, (hehe I STILL do)., but god knows what I did the following Saturday :)

Now, my PC could tell me that in a flash (Well, if it knew!)

major_small
09-16-2003, 07:47 PM
but a computer can do what a human wants it to do, but a brain does what it wants and the human follows... we have alot less control over our brains than we have over comps...

Zach L.
09-16-2003, 07:53 PM
I'm not sure a brain does what it "wants" to do. It is on autopilot so to speak, though.

I read an interesting article a few months back. A rather pragmatic series of tests seemed to indicate that humans have roughly 4 MB of short term memory.

ZakkWylde969
09-16-2003, 08:02 PM
my tech teacher told me once that a computer with the processing size of the average brain would have to be the size of a football field to even compair to it.

Zach L.
09-16-2003, 08:08 PM
Really depends on the task. Computers are much better suited for some tasks (such as number crunching) because their structure is different from that of the human brain. Of course, it'd be a lot easier to argue this if the brain was more fully understood... anyways... yeah, I'd be surprised if even a football-field sized computer could successfully process in the same way that a brain does.

I was walking to class ealier today (a math class), and the campus was rather crowded. It crossed my mind that either the path-finding algorithm my brain was using was rather sophisticated (so that I roughly minimized my route of travel while not colliding with anyone), or it was a brute force algorithm that was being run many a time at very high speed.

ZakkWylde969
09-17-2003, 05:00 AM
The computer only mimics what we know. There isn't any intelligence in a computer. It has knowledge but it needs programming to have the ability to learn like the human brain.

Zach L.
09-17-2003, 06:40 PM
True. But how do you define intelligence in a human. A human learns from its environment, but a computer (arguably) learns when you hit the compiler button, so this would be its "environment".

ZakkWylde969
09-17-2003, 06:50 PM
But how does it get that enviroment? The computer is based off of technology we create. Our human brain is so advanced we aren't even sure how it completely works. The study of the brain is still in the baby stages.

Zach L.
09-17-2003, 07:29 PM
I don't deny that the brain is very much more sophisticated than computers. I am just saying that there is at least some analogue to intelligence.

major_small
09-17-2003, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by Zach L.
I was walking to class ealier today (a math class), and the campus was rather crowded. It crossed my mind that either the path-finding algorithm my brain was using was rather sophisticated (so that I roughly minimized my route of travel while not colliding with anyone), or it was a brute force algorithm that was being run many a time at very high speed. I would say the brain takes things as they come, but has a destination and knows the quickest route is a straight line, or follows a path... if you really pay attention, most of the time you're not taking the fastest route... your following the flow of traffic or just kinda walking... you don't always round the corner on the inside...

Zach L.
09-17-2003, 08:02 PM
Its hard to tell though. The shortest route is not always the fastest (i.e. slowing down around a sharp corner, as opposed to walking slightly wider around it), nor is the fastest necessarily the most energy efficient (climbing rocks or following a paved path). Its clearly recalculating the proper trajectory many many times based upon visual (and to a lesser extent other the other senses') cues. What isn't clear to me is whether or not the brain subconciously is coming up with (near) optimal solutions by some algorithm aside from the obvious "don't run into anything, and go that way" method.

ZakkWylde969
09-17-2003, 08:04 PM
Nice point zakk. if the brain was uncosiously doing all that processing such as breath, keep walking, balance yourself, not too fast, watch that person, oh wall here need to find another way. I don't think that kind of thought process is mimicable for a computer.

major_small
09-17-2003, 08:22 PM
I think the main difference is multitasking... the brain has a myriad number of seperate threads to use, but a computer has a very real and limited number... for example, if you get a program to do some real heavy mathematical stuff, your system slows to a crawl, but if you (as a human) are doing a mathematical problem, your heart won't stop...

I think the brain decides where to go (subconsciously) based on other things, like how much energy you have, if you're in a rush, etc.

Zach L.
09-17-2003, 08:41 PM
Good points. A multi-processor SGI or Cray would then seem to serve as a much better comparison than a PC.

Of course, with a human, the "threads" which control such functions as heart rate are very hard to consciously access. Much more so than threads on a computer.

Of course, an underlying operating system could protect certain threads from being accessed easily.