Brain Capacity?

Bill Skaggs skaggs at bns.pitt.edu
Fri Mar 21 12:18:08 EST 1997


Anthonie Muller <awjm at holyrood.ed.ac.uk> writes:

> [ . . . ] I guess that that
> results in a value of about 500 000 words (~ 10^6). Assuming an average
> word length of 10 letters on obtains an estimate of  ~ 10^7 characters.
> Again assuming that one character is ~  100 bits, one obtains ~ 10^9
> bits. Since the brain has a volume of about 1 L, this means a minimum
> density of 10^6 bits/ cm^3.     

Well, it would be more reasonable to assume that one character is ~ 10
bits, rather than ~ 100.  Even so, the value you arrive at (10^9 bits)
is only 100 megabytes.  The surprising thing is how small the values
are that one arrives at in this kind of calculation.  One might think
that the whole of human semantic knowledge could fit on a CD ROM!

	-- Bill Skaggs



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