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'Human Brain' Supercomputer Switched On to Unlock Secrets of the Mind

The SpiNNaker supercomputer being prepared for use.

University of Manchester researchers about to launch a supercomputer designed to mimic the human brain.

Credit: University of Manchester

Researchers at the University of Manchester in the U.K. are about to launch a supercomputer designed to mimic the human brain, comprised of 1 million processors capable of 200 trillion actions per second.

The Spiking Neural Network Architecture (SpiNNaker) mimics the parallel communication architecture of the brain by sending small amounts of information to different destinations concurrently.

Although SpiNNaker is the first step toward creating a model of 1 billion biological neurons in real time, for now it will provide new insight into how the brain works.

Researchers will use SpiNNaker to run large-scale, real-time simulations of various regions of the brain; the system also can be adapted to power an artificial intelligence robot, which can navigate and interpret objects in the real world.

Manchester's Steve Furber says the robotic system "works as real-time neural simulator that allows roboticists to design large-scale neural networks into mobile robots so they can walk, talk, and move with flexibility and low power."

From The Independent (U.K.)
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