February 6, 2024 at 7:39 pm

The DeepSouth Computer Has Been Built To Mimic The Human Brain’s Neural Networks

by Trisha Leigh

While the controversies surrounding AI continue to rage, scientists have been steadily building a computer that’s meant to mimic the brain’s own neural pathways.

And actually, they’ve already turned it on.

The minds behind it are researchers at Western Sydney University in Australia, who teamed up with Intel and Dell. They built a massive supercomputer that’s parts are supposed to perfectly match what happens inside a human brain.

Source: Vecteezy

They’re calling the computer DeepSouth, and claim it emulates networks of neurons working at 228 trillion synaptic operations every second.

That’s about as fast as your mind works, for reference. Which is amazing.

ICNS director and professor Andre van Schaik says the computer can provide a never-before-seen look behind the scenes of human brain processes.

“Progress in our understanding of how brains compute using neurons is hampered by our inability to simulate brain like networks at scale.”

Because the computer is built to mimic biological processes, it’s more efficient and runs on less power than a typical computer.

It’s running a ton of operations at once but moving hardly any data, so the energy it requires is minimal.

“Simulating spiking neural networks on standard computers using Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and multicore Central Processing Units (CPU) is just too slow and power intensive. Our system will change that.”

They hope to “progress our understanding of the brain and develop brain-scale computing applications in diverse fields including sensing, biomedical, robotics, space, and large-scale AI applications.”

Source: Vecteezy

And yes, this is going to come back around to the AI controversy eventually, says professor Ralph Etienne-Cummings.

“At the end of the day there’s two types of researchers who will be interested in this – either those studying neuroscience or those who want to prototype new engineering solutions in the AI space. …If you are trying to understand the brain this will be the hardware to do it on.”

It all sounds very interesting, but any attempts to use a computer to simulate human biology are bound to be met with resistance.

At least, as far as I can tell.

If you enjoyed that story, check out what happened when a guy gave ChatGPT $100 to make as money as possible, and it turned out exactly how you would expect.