computer brainWe often view robots in sci-fi settings to be uber intelligent, and might even trump human ingenuity, only losing out in terms of emotions. Well, it seems that the tide might have turned, as scientists have gotten even closer to the complete construction of a machine which might eventually beat out any intelligent robot – by being a natural brain. Known as the BrainScaleS project, this is a collaboration between 15 research institutions, where the ultimate end result is to create hardware which emulates different parts of a natural brain.

Senior researcher Dr. Johannes Schemmel said, “Our goal is to create a working system that will be located in Heidelberg, but accessible online to scientists all over the world. Come new fundamental findings from biologists, we might just have to change our hardware from scratch.”

The BrainScale project wants to develop “neuromorphic hardware”, otherwise interpreted as electronic systems which will reconstruct the behavior of synapses, relying on electrical components like transistors and microchips instead of flesh and blood. The prototype is right now an 8″ large wafer with 51 million artificial synapses, and yet that is but a tiny fraction of a working brain.

Do you think scientific advancement will ever get close to a human brain replica formed in a synthetic manner? I do have my reservations on that, but considering how far we have come technologically, I shall reserve a grain of salt for that.

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