How the Human Brain Project Can Contribute to a Fundamentally New Paradigm of Information Processing

While it might seem that the processing power of computers will continue to increase endlessly, waste heat, power consumption and the probability of component failures rise at the same time – and potentially to unmanageable levels. Computing needs a new processing paradigm, or its exponential progress of the last fifty years might slow down soon. What better inspiration than the human brain to find this new paradigm? Karlheinz Meier, a leader in the efforts to emulate the human brain on silicon chips, has created prototypes of brain-inspired computers that run up to 100,000 times faster than their biological counterparts, and millions of times faster than brain simulations on conventional hardware. Meier is now co-director of the Human Brain Project (HBP), a €1 billion EU flagship research project with the goal to simulate the human brain with supercomputers. The HBP will provide new tools to help understand the brain and its fundamental mechanisms, and to apply this knowledge in future medicine and novel computing architectures. An expert in illustrating complex physical matters in educational short films, Karlheinz Meier explains one of the most ambitious research projects of our times in 15 minutes.

Karlheinz Meier

Universität Heidelberg & HBP

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