22. September 2009
September 21st, 2009 by Aaron Saenz
Many of you, like me, are excited about the possibilities of modeling and simulating the human brain. The Blue Brain Project, based in Switzerland, and made possible by IBM, is one of the leading endeavors to understand how the brain functions and how we can build a computer that will simulate those functions for us to explore. If our earlier article on the Blue Brain Project left you eager to learn more, check out the new presentation that Project Director Henry Markram gave as part of Seed Magazine’s Seed Design Series. The 15 minute video is embedded after the break.
If you want to understand something, it helps to be able to explore it, tinker with it, and watch how it works. Computer simulations allows scientists to do just that. For an instrument as complex and beautiful as the human brain, a simulation would require enormous resources. Markram estimates that it will take computers 20,000 times more powerful than any produced today, and with memory capacity 500 times the current size of the Internet. We’re talking exaflops worth of computing power and peta or exabytes of memory stored. Yet Markram seems confident we can reach these goals in about 10 years.