Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Industry and Business News .

Cranial knowledge
by Arnaud De Borchgrave, Upi Editor At Large
Washington DC (UPI) May 28, 2014

"Roadrunner," the IBM supercomputer that experts say "comes closest to replicating a human's ability to drive in rush-hour traffic, "weighs 227 metric tons and requires a diet of about 3 megawatts." By contrast, they explain, the brain regularly handles rush-hour driving on 20 watts -- same power consumption as a Nintendo -- and its 4.5 kilos fit into a handbag.

The human brain is still several years ahead of the supercomputer that now does quadrillions of operations per second (1 quadrillion has 15 zeros). But the gap is closing fast. In fact, Ray Kurzweil, who wrote "The Singularity is Near" eight years ago, predicted parity would be reached 25 to 30 years hence.

Skeptical at first, neuroscientist Jim Olds, who directs the Krasnow Institute at George Mason U, and supervises the Blue Brain Project now believes Kurzweil won't be far off his prediction.

"Real brains are so impressive to computer scientists," says Dr. Olds, "so instead of banging our heads against Moore's Law, why not build computers more like the brain and get them to solve problems the way the brain does?"

"Roadrunner," the IBM supercomputer that experts say "comes closest to replicating a human's ability to drive in rush-hour traffic, "weighs 227 metric tons and requires a diet of about 3 megawatts." By contrast, they explain, the brain regularly handles rush-hour driving on 20 watts -- same power consumption as a Nintendo -- and its 4.5 kilos fit into a handbag.

IBM's research work has the scientific community agog. Its research shows that a model of the human brain with its 20 billion neurons connected by about 200 billion synapses could be reached by 2019.

A critical problem to understand, let alone simulate, the brain is power consumption. Dawn, says one expert, is "one of the most powerful and power-efficient supercomputers in the world, but it still takes 500 seconds for it to simulate 5 seconds of human brain activity, and its consumes 1.4 MW..."

To scale simulation would require "a dedicated nuclear power plant," say the experts.

Nanomaterials -- brain-like chips -- are also being developed by IBM. These are designed to build "a system of 100 such chips stimulating 100 million neurons and 1 trillion synapses."

China, reports the Wall Street Journal, is spending untold millions "on a highly classified system driven by microcircuits that evolve, learn and adapt to real-world situations." And in the U.S., the National Science Foundation is funding a three-year study at the University of Southern California's electrical engineering department "to develop a synthetic cortex, which will contain carbon-based (as opposed to silicon) nanometer-scale artificial neurons."

"Error correction moves propelled quantum computing closer to reality," says privately an aide to a senior U.S. official.

The connectome is the wiring diagram of the brain. And the connection from one brain cell to another is stamped with each person's ID.

Dr. H. Sebastian Seung is known as the connectome's prophet. The wiring of one brain cell to another is seen through an electron microscope. These add up to 85 billion brain cells with 10,000 connections for each brain cell. The whole connectome amounts to one zettabyte, or about one trillion gigabytes, a new designation for the huge amount of data collected.

The ultimate map of the brain on that scale, according to Seung, will take another 20 to 30 years. This is roughly the same as Dr. Kurzweil predicted eight years ago.

What provokes and produces schizophrenia still eludes the scientists. But the drumbeat of soon to be major breakthroughs in neuroscience grows louder by the month.

And what produces capitalist greed and avarice, now spinning out of control, won't come a moment too soon.

In the early post-World War II victory days, CEO comp was roughly 40 times factory floor wages. It has kept going up ever since notwithstanding market downturns. All kinds of emoluments kept expanding. One well publicized case during the last recession had one well-heeled Wall Street trader quitting to protest unfair compensation. He thought he was being short-changed with $80 million.

In 2005, with two wars underway in Iraq and Afghanistan, average defense contractor CEO pay of $11.8 million in salary, stock options, bonuses and incentives rose to 431 times what the average worker earned, or $27,460, according to liberal advocacy organizations. But the stats go unchallenged. And the correct figures are not released to the media.

The liberal report looked at 34 of the top 100 defense contractors 2004-2005 -- all publicly traded companies, easy to verify. Average CEO pay rose 200 percent between 2001 and 2004, as compared to seven percent for all CEOs on Fortune 500 list.

The report said British shareholders "must annually approve executive pay, a tradition that has contributed to greater restraint in executive pay than the U.S. has experienced.

"CEOs themselves could take action." the report said, and then singled out for praise "two bosses worthy of membership in an 'Executive Pay Hall of Fame."


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Fully qualified Flash Memory optimizes Satellite Data Storage
Paris, France (SPX) May 23, 2014
The flash memory Solid-State Recorder (SSR) products of Airbus Defense and Space have passed all NASA space qualification test requirements successfully. In addition, the company's flash-based SSR has exceeded 20 months of operation in orbit onboard SPOT 6, the first commercial satellite to deploy this technology. The Electronics Business Line of Airbus Defense and Space is the only compan ... read more

NIST studies why quantum dots suffer from 'fluorescence intermittency'

Eumelanin's secrets

From separation to transformation: Metal-organic framework shows new talent

ThalesRaytheonSystems, Kazakhstan in radar deal

NATO agency extends Globalcomms services

Exelis to help repair, modernize tactical radios

The U.S. Navy has contracted Harris Corporation for next-gen radios

Harris to provide IT service and support for homeland security

Sea Launch sends Eutelsat 3B satellite into orbit via Zenit 3SL rocket

Russia puts satellite in orbit from sea platform after 2013 flop

SpaceX Completes Qualification Testing of SuperDraco Thruster

After Injunction lifted, US rocket with Russian RD-180 Engine takes off

China's domestic navigation system guides Pakistan

Beidou to help safeguard fishermen on high seas

China's BeiDou system standard ratified by IMO

Russian space agency set to resume Glonass talks with US

India receives fourth P-8I Poseidon

Government aircraft repair plants now managed by Russian Helicopters

China turns motorway into military airstrip: reports

Costs won't deter airlines from real-time tracking: ICAO

EMCORE Introduces Internal Fiber Delay Line System for the Optiva Platform

New analysis eliminates a potential speed bump in quantum computing

NIST chip produces and detects specialized gas for biomedical analysis

Merger planned of electronic component providers

Japan launches land observing satellite

Japan launches new satellite to survey disasters

Airbus partners with BAE for radar satellite imagery

Water mission boosts food security

Cutting Carbon Emissions Reduces Everyday Air Pollution

Sweden to sue EU for delay on hormone disrupting chemicals

Dangerous nitrogen pollution could be halved

Study lists dangerous chemicals linked to breast cancer

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.