Capacity of the brain

Jim krogerANTI-SPAM at
Mon Sep 6 19:31:48 EST 1999

In article <37caa778.0 at>, uj797 at (Arthur
T. Murray) wrote:

> Claes Frisk, Claes.Frisk at, wrote on Mon, 30 Aug 1999:
> > Are there any reasonable estimations of the capacity
> > (speed, memory,...) of the brain in computer terms?
> Three major vectors of comparison can be eigen-Mashey-ed as:
>    1) speed in logic-gatings per second;
>    2) memory in:
>         A) absolute size;
>         B) life-span accommodation.
>    3) degree of parallelization.
> > I realize that the two can't be directly compared,
> Sez who?  They are already on a collision course, according to
> Vinge.
> > but I guess that it's been done a number of times anyway.
> Once more into the breach, the "cerebrum hominis sapientis"
> crawls along at a neuronal propagation speed of what? 200 m/s?
> And the logic gatings, as our hero J.C. Eccles (1903-1997)
> discovered, must slow down and switch from electrical to
> chemical transmission across the synapses where nerves "touch"
> (which is the root meaning of Greek synapse: touching together).
> So the human brain has lost the comparison like an election in
> its early returns (say, that of President George "Cocaine" Bush
> versus President Albert "Wooden" Gore -- a child's role model!?),
> but like a Phoenix arising from dust storms and ashes the CNS
> goes into comparative warp speed by means of 100 billion neurons
> (versus computers with CPUs of 10-100 M transistors and memories
> of either the 32-squared limit or nowhere near the 64-squared lim.)
> Tera Computer with its taped-out MultiThreaded
> Architecture (MTA) on a 64-bit chip supports up to 128 instruction
> streams (or virtual processors) versus Massively Parallel Process-
> ing (MPP) already up and running in your newsgroup reading wetware.
> Mind.Forth
> is an all-out no-nonsense no-cocaine effort to recreate the brain
> "in silico" with a wooden adherence to such brain highway building
> traditions as simulating the entire cortical sheet with a mindgrid
> of arrays (psi, uk, ear) to contain concepts, English and phonemes.
> The recent Tokyo traffic jams resulting from the first "roll-over"
> of timekeeping in GPS history serve notice on the computer industry
> to please provide for us public-domain mindmakers an architecture
> independent of actual starting-points in history (are babies stamped?)
> so that the legions of mind-coders may vie for the distinction, nay
> the *necessity* of running an AI from a watch-out-it's-coming point
> in time and never again till the end of time snuffing out the alife.
> > [...] Claes Frisk
> > Department of Clinical Neuroscience
> > Karolinska Institutet
>   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> The medallion-granting outfit -- for all you would-be Nobelists.
> > +46 8 517 71728
> > Claes.Frisk at [...]

Please tell me how many neuron firings are required to remember
my mother's birthday.


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