Until a few years ago, the goal was to achieve the smallest size of the chip, which could solve even the most complex problems. We saw tiny yet sophisticated chips running intricate engineering equipment. Well, that was called the “Very Large-Scale Integration” which sort to become a mania in engineering!
Around this time, there was a significant progression in the field of technology. With refinement and expertise, a device invented by a human, the mere computer, became indomitable in two main functions-
- I/O of data
- Data processing & memory
Then came the idea of intelligence!
The evolution of Artificial Intelligence made us think if we humans, can actually challenge the creator of all existence. Although that appears absurd, yet AI has allowed us to replicate almost 75 percent of the human nervous system.
Wait a moment. Let that sink in!
And we are on a quest to make it a 100 soon!
Can Computers Replace Human Brains
But here’s another perspective on this situation. There are many functions where computers are nowhere close to the human brain. Yes, you heard it right!
Although the data transmission and processing capability in a computer is a win, functions including parallel processing, creativity, free will, intuitiveness, emotion, empathy, planning, and consciousness are still a work in progress Well, the neutral networks that make the human brain anatomically, and functionally unique are so complex that even we humans could not interpret how they function, let alone replicating them. The human brain is an arduous network of neurons, which are excitable by information through synaptic contacts. It understands a language more powerful than just 0s and 1s. A neural network is robust, and so is the brain.
How Human Brain Is Different From Computers
Now, what does that mean?
Well, if you cut a wire that connects your PC with its peripherals or let say, any link in its circuitry, the computer immediately stops maneuvering! But the human brain never stops!
As far as storage capacity and memory is concerned, we are all aware of the ability of neurons to combine with one another to assist with the creation and storage of memories. A neural network is a complex interconnection of neurons. It can be thought of as each neuron having roughly a thousand connections to other neurons.
And according to many research findings, the human brain constitutes approximately 100 billion neurons.
Can you imagine this?
An approximate volume would be over a trillion connections in an average human brain! Moreover, human beings tend to relate their memories with one another. No wonder how we memorize so many things that happened years ago and some of us even remember what happened in their past lives! Humans have a very interesting capability to map their memories with places, people, events, and other memories which is why we don’t forget things for a very long time. This overlapping effect allows an exponentially large storage and memory capacity.
Some More Comparison Between Computers ANd Human Brains
And when we talk about electronics, energy efficiency is our next (sometimes the first) important concern. Well, here’s another interesting news for you. The brain is much more energy-efficient as compared to a computer. Despite the amount of work, it does, the brain consumes less power than a lightbulb, which is almost 10watts mathematically! Even though you might not be the brightest lightbulb in the box, but hey, this figure is 10 times less than what a computer consumes. And that my friend, is a great deal. Its “on” all the time even when we are asleep. There is always something going on up there, which sometimes even we don’t understand. You may argue that energy efficiency is a subjective matter and will improve as technology continues to evolve. Now allow me to show you the same situation from another perspective
Isn’t it strange how we experience a rush of emotions in certain instances and can never figure why that happens?
So, there is something which we all don’t realize.
Of all the functions of the human brain, the computational aspect can be replicated in machines regardless of however complex processing is involved but there are still some non-programmable characteristics of the human brain which eventually determine the limitation of AI.
Where Computers And Human Brains Meet
Interestingly, there’s one thing that brings human intelligence and artificial intelligence on the same ground for assessment. Human intelligence, just like AI, requires an effort to be developed.
Well, in both cases, “training” is the key to success. Learning happens when a child or a machine undergoes training. But the same strategy works differently for the two. In the case of human beings, during the early years of brain development, the more a child is exposed to a variety of things and situations, the stronger is the creation synapses that connect the neurons. You can read more about synapses here- How Does Artificial Synapses Work? While for machines, training allows the machine to learn in a way that algorithms are refined.
It is possible that one day, artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence. In fact, scientists, engineers, and experts are working day in and day out for that. But with this success, we, the masters, will have to accept our failure, by becoming the servants to our own creation (the masters). Till then, neural networks and artificial intelligence continue to face off on the grounds of advancement.
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Do check out our blog on Artificial Intelligence for more- Artificial Intelligence: The Harmony Of Evolution