I know that “The Human Brain Project” was mentioned in the BBC lecture, but I feel it’s an impressive enough endeavor to be worthy of another mention, I mean it’s going on for ten years, I’m sure I’m not going to be the only other media source covering it.
The Human Brain Project is for me one of the most exciting undertakings in recent times, we’ve reached a point in the understanding of ourselves where we know so much. Yet compared to everything else the brain is a relatively unknown entity.
That’s hopefully about to change, on the 7th of October 80 universities started research into how to reach a much deeper understanding of the brain than anyone ever has before, and to create a computer system capable of performing tasks that a brain can.
But there is one issue with this idea of producing a model, there isn’t a single computer in the world that can cover the brains functional capabilities, the brain reaching a staggering one million gigabytes of information storage capacity. Some people even believe, perhaps correctly, that the brain is too complex to understand itself, these concerns about computing capacity remind me of what I learnt about the Human Genome Project.
In the case of the HGP, both computing and human genetics helped each other take great leaps and bounds to achieve something no one was sure could be done at the start. Something I hope to see from this potentially pioneering project.