Would anyone care to restate the (average, not the esteemed Cecil’s) human brain’s processing power in computerese? What is the hard drive size? What multi-tasking functions can we perform? What OS do we use?

Has any research in AI (or otherwise) provided any answers which could be expressed in lay terms?

Thank you for your(non-binary)responses.

1st, welcome to the SDMB. :slight_smile: Hope you enjoy your stay.

2nd, your question is unanswerable. Without trying to make this into a GD, since computers are the invention of, and completely dependent on humans, measuring us in terms of specifically processed silicon is absurd. Computers do not think; everything they do is a math equation. They have no emotion. Computers are nothing but fancy calculators.

Thank you for your kind welcome.

My intent in the question was to ascertain if any of the teeming millions could assist me in finding some references to the more digestible factoids relating to the human neurona. I’ll try Minke (an AI researcher) or maybe Sagan.

Well,I’d have to dig up my lecture notes from a graduate Nucleic Acids class I took to give some hard evidence, but the gist was the DNA, compared on a physical weight ratio, stores infomation more than (I can’t remember off the top of my head), say, a millionth or billionth fold more densely than a CD-ROM. The more important factor is how do you read that info. A CD is pretty slim, but how big is the apparatus needed to access that info on the CD?

Compare a computer in relative size to the enzymes and DNA of a cell. The cell can store it’s info in DNA, replicate that info, and translate that info on a scale that, to date is wishful thinking with regard to, in efficiency and scale to technology and computers specifically. But this is a tehnology problem at present.
I know this doesn’t address your OP directly, but the informatics invovled in living cells is pretty impressive. And living cells (the brain) cause intelligence as we have defined it. How much hard drive do we have? I dunno.

AI? I guess that one could make the arguement that even the brain is the sum of its physical and chemical interactions. In the nonforeseeable future, it might be understood and replicated.

Welcome to the SDMB, CuriousGeorge!

If the human brain/computer analogy works at all, I think it’s only in respect to memory. Even then, it’s still pretty weak. Memory is theorized to work on a basic encoding-storage-retrieval model, just as computers do, but as sethdallob said, computers don’t think. They don’t attach any emotion to the information they store in memory as we humans do with our memories of events and experiences.

However, I have read that the human brain can store the equivalent of about 500,000 text pages’ worth of information. Don’t have a cite for that one, though. My text here says that one scientist estimated that the human brain can hold one billion bits of information in memory (presumably long term memory). When it comes to short term memory, on average, a person can retain a list of seven items: for example, seven items of a grocery list, or seven digits (which comes in handy for remembering telephone numbers).

Not sure about your OS question. If humans do run on an OS, then we all got the same one, and there ain’t gonna be any upgrades anytime soon, so far as I can tell. Multitasking? You know, some people can’t even dress themselves if they wake up too early in the morning…

Ah… thanks folks. Exactly the sort of direction I thought the discussion might take.

I’ll have to dig more deeply regarding the specifics. Memories in binary code on self replicating and possibly self-repairing storage media (DNA). The equivalent of a half-million pages of text. Cache (or RAM) amounting to the equivalent of 7 instructions. I’m sure similar citations are out there yet to be uncovered.

This is what I was thinking in terms of.

Note: a name change has been forced upon me - henceforth I shall be known as “NetNeuron”, since my handle was already in use in a slightly different format here. ("No, we are the knights that go “Ecce, ecce!”)

I thank you for your replies, and look forward to getting dressed once the coffee kicks in.