Popular Science News | Brainy Machines

Popular Science News –  if a machines were to be designed to mimic the human brain it would need to contain the equivalent of a 100 billion nerve cells. This is something that supercomputers match and exceed. However, the brain draws 20 watts of energy, the power of a energy saving light-bulb, and a supercomputer 200Kw, a monthly household energy requirement each hour.

Supercomputers are now being made to ‘think’ like brains, completing thousands of computations at the same time and then bringing their results together in order to make a decision. The Turing Test, devised by WW2 computer genius Alan Turing, is the traditional way to test if a machine has been devised that thinks like a human. An event called the Turing Test Marathon is held each year at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, where the German Enigma code was cracked. 30 judges are faced with the task of deciding whether the ‘hidden humans’ they were talking to were real or electronic.

Interestingly the computer in this test would have to mimic a human to the point of lying. For example, if asked to multiply two extraordinarily large numbers it would have to fail to answer the question.

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