[ExI] A small step towards brain emulation

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 20 16:51:27 UTC 2012

Anders, now for the billion dollar question...  How many years/decades
until we have a sim with the roughly realistic computational power/make-up
of the human brain?  I get the impression it might be relatively soon.

And how exactly does this tie in with developing true artificial


On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 4:37 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> Dharmendra Modha's IBM team have announced a rather impressive brain
> simulation.
> http://www.modha.org/blog/**SC12/RJ10502.pdf<http://www.modha.org/blog/SC12/RJ10502.pdf>
> The good news is that they have simulated a system with 53*10^10 neurons
> (near cortex size) and 1.37*10^14 synapses at a mere 1542 slowdown, using
> an overall network structure borrowed from the macaque brain. It also
> scales well with increasing number of processors. The bad news is that the
> model is a fairly abstract model; not quite chunking all neurons in a
> minicolumn into one, but still using abstracted integrate-and-fire neurons.
> And of course, it does not have any fine structure based on any real brain.
> The real paper is here, with more technical details:
> http://www.modha.org/blog/**SC12/SC2012_Compass.pdf<http://www.modha.org/blog/SC12/SC2012_Compass.pdf>(this was run just on the Blue Gene, the press stuff is a later run on
> Sequoia)
> The cores are described here: http://www.modha.org/papers/**
> IJCNN%202012.pdf <http://www.modha.org/papers/IJCNN%202012.pdf>
> OK, we seem to be on track when it comes to computing power for big neural
> networks, and the connectomics people are charging ahead (but they need to
> get onto an exponential track of scan-to-neuron conversion: right now
> algorithms are too slow even for the small scan volumes we got). It feels
> like the ball is now in the computational neuroscientist court: we better
> start working on how to turn imaging data into something that can run on
> something like the Compass.
> --
> Anders Sandberg,
> Future of Humanity Institute
> Oxford Martin School
> Faculty of Philosophy
> Oxford University
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