Video: Building a Brain inside a Supercomputer

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Our Video Sunday feature continues with this Ted talk by Henry Markram on the Blue Brain, a supercomputing project that can model components of the mammalian brain to precise cellular detail — and simulate their activity in 3D. Soon he’ll simulate an entire rat brain in real time. A full human brain simulation may be just 10 years away.

Though the aim of Blue Brain research is mainly biomedical, it has been edging up on some deep, contentious philosophical questions about the mind — “Can a robot think?” and “Can consciousness be reduced to mechanical components?” — the consequence of which Markram is well aware: Asked by Seed Magazine what a simulation of a full brain might do, he answered, “Everything. I mean everything” — with a grin.