Monday, August 15, 2005

Fun facts - the human brain and senses

[See previous]

There are dozens of fun facts in here:

Brain Facts and Figures

I was wanting to understand how our eyes compare to digital cameras. The page indicates that we have about 120 million black-and-white sensors on our retinas and about 5 million color sensors. That would imply that we have 120 megapixel cameras for our eyes. The 5 megapixel color resolution is misleading because we use most of those color pixels to focus on a small part of the image. Then we flick our line of sight around and construct a much larger high-resolution color image from little bits of pieces.

The page also indicates that the human brain has about 100 billion neurons. The most powerful personal computers today have about 0.4 billion transistors in the CPU. So we are a factor of 250 or so away. Within 15 years we will have processors with 100 billion transistors. It could be argued that a neuron is much more powerful than a transistor. In that case, we are 30 years away to having the full processing power of a human brain in a desktop PC.

Comments:
Comparing a transistor to a neuron is no good.

Rather, compare a CPU-instruction to a neuron-signal. Those two are much more alike.

See the Singularity FAQ for Dummies on why this is so.
 
CPUs process much faster then the human brain already, it's the way the brain processess that makes it so efficient.
 
Why isn't our sense of gravity (balance) considered a first-class sense? It provides information to the brain about one's environment: which way is up. It has a sense organ (fluid in the ear).
 
" CPUs process much faster then the human brain already, it's the way the brain processess that makes it so efficient."

Not true.

They process a lot faster than a single neuron, if that's what you mean. But your average CPU comes nowhere near the processing power of an entire brain.
 
CPUs faster and more powerful, yes. But CPUs doing what a brain can do - not in this millenium.
 
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