Man vs. Machine; the capabilities of the human brain have been pitted against the super-fast, super-efficient features of ever-evolving computing technology, every step of the way.

It’s true that computers can perform complex mathematical calculations at a blistering pace. A simple code, made up of bits and bytes can convert an unfathomable amount of numbers into analytically sound results in seconds. Mobile computing and the internet are pushing for a greater demand for cloud based activity – which means more data stored and analyzed simpler, and faster. Computing has changed the way we operate daily, and it has revolutionized the way the systems, we take for granted, function.

But take a step back, and look at the grey matter that created the computer in the first place. Our brains are more complex than any technology we have ever built, and still capable of things that elude even the most powerful supercomputer.

While we may not be able to solve advanced mathematical problems in microseconds, we possess the ability to adapt and learn. We can feel different senses, and recognize patterns. Our brain is capable of analyzing unfamiliar situations, while simultaneously drawing upon past experiences in order to arrive at inferences about new situations. We can experiment with different approaches. Computers aren’t capable of doing that. They have to be told what to do.

Think about what would happen in a situation, where it is man with machine, instead of man vs. machine; where supercomputing and neuroscience are combined. Currently, computers fall just short of possessing intelligence, but imagine a situation, not too long from now when developers successfully build a machine that simulates the way humans think. A machine augmented by the power of a human brain, which draws the best of both. This machine will have the power, not only to think independently, but also draw conclusions based on past experiences. The computer enhanced by the capability of the human brain may be one that can analyze its own capabilities and make adjustments to improve its performance.

Combining the power of the machine and the human brain can potentially create a super brain. A medical chip may enhance the human brain and enable it to tell a doctor what’s wrong without even conducting tests. Maybe a computer chip can empower us to perform complicated mathematical calculations in moments. It could create a generation, where the gap between animate and inanimate knowledge is unrecognizable.

We live in an age of exponential technological innovation where we take enormous leaps in computational abilities every minute. But even 10 years from now will our electronic creations be able to mimic the innate capabilities of its creator? Or will its inability to feel emotion and reason independently limit it to the role of an expertly engineered sophisticated calculator?

There is no doubt however, that combining the power of the human brain with the potential of a computer, will throw up infinite potential and possibilities. This super“human”computer will be an unprecedented advancement in science, which will solve some of the world’s most complicated computing problems.

Don’t you think so?

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  1. Bhomik Pande

    “man + machine” is where the future really lies. To understand this future, one must of course understand the past. In 1960, J.C.R. Licklider published “Man-Computer Symbiosis,” “a key speculative paper… which envisions that mutually-interdependent, ‘living together’, tightly-coupled human brains and computing machines would prove to complement each other’s strengths to a high degree.”

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      1. Bhomik Pande

        Just to add to the pattern,there was an album called ‘Man-Machine’ released by famous band of Germany ‘Kraftwerk’ in 1978 which was initially unsuccessful, but went on to be a big hit & reached pinnacles specially of its unique collaborative approach. In music too we appreciate the humanness of the product produced by orchestra.

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