The comparison between computers and the human brain have become a very common analogy in the 21st century; the common comparison often allows the younger generations who grew up with technology understand the similarities of how both computers and brains function in a similar capacity. Such a comparison brings up a crucial question; If computers and human brains are a like in theory, is it possible to create a computer that has the same abilities as a human brain? Decades ago such a question would be seen as audacious at best, yet now we find ourselves in the midst of what could be a paradigm shift in the field of artificial intelligence. So the question is no longer can we? But when will we achieve it.
In Europe, there is already a strong effort being made by neurosurgeons and computer engineers to achieve such a feat of technological might. “The Human Brain” project has been compiling data for the past decade in order to help engineers understand the complexities and intricacies needed to formulate a computer that would be able to able to have the same capabilities as a human brain.
“Whatever happens one day we’ll be able to inject the computational power of a human brain into a machine,” he says.”There’s still a lot of debate on how to quantify the computational power of the human brain, and its memory capacity too, but in any case it’s a finite number. So it’s something which will be possible within the framework of technological development.”(Wilks, J. 2019, April 02)
Professor Philip Ryvlin from the Vaud Hospital Center in Switzerland shares a strong optimism regarding the ability to in the forseeable future harvest the technological capabilities to create a computer brain. There are still components about the human brain that we still do not fully understand; this deals with abstract concepts of how the human mind works and how we would be able to artificially create such a concept within a computer. There is also aspects that relate to emotions and creativity that psychologists are still trying to fully grasp. Katrin Amunts, the scientific director of The Human Brain project specifically notes about the complexities that make project such a daunting task:
“When we have a certain molecule binding to a receptor and leading to an activation of another neighbouring cells, how at the end we have something complex, like a poem, or we have a piece of music at the end.”(Wilks, J. 2019, April 02)
The concept of A.I was once a popular trope in science fiction media has now become an arms race between technological robust nations such as the U.S and China. Yet, as our technological capabilities have become more refined there is still the matter of how well we understand the human mind in psycho-biological terms. Through sub-fields of psychology such as Cognitive psychology and neurological psychology we still have only begun to scratch the surface of the complexities of the human mind; therefore, it is necessary for our understanding of the human mind to expand if we wish to be able to artificially create such an extraordinary feat.
Wilks, J. (2019, April 02). Can we make a computer like the human brain? Retrieved from https://www.euronews.com/2019/04/01/can-we-make-a-computer-like-the-human-brain