The differentiation between brain and computer is very useful in the field of cognitive science and artificial intelligence where the human brain is used to model the artificial neural network to create an expert system. The prior difference between the brain and the computer is that the brain can work without data, but computers require a minimum amount of data. A brain is an innovative and creative organ, but the computer cannot create a new thing without any support, it would need some program or software to do this. The brain also has common sense reasoning and understanding capabilities.
Content: Brain and Computer
|Basis for comparison
|Neurons and synapses
|ICs, transistors, diodes, capacitors, transistors, etc.
|Increases each time by connecting synaptic links
|Increases by adding more memory chips
|Built-in backup system
|Backup system is constructed manually
|100 teraflops (100 trillion calculations/seconds)
|100 million megabytes
|12 watts of power
|Gigawatts of power
|Stored in electrochemical and electric impulses.
|Stored in numeric and symbolic form (i.e. in binary bits).
|Size and weight
|The brain's volume is 1500 cm3 and weight is around 3.3 pounds.
|Variable weight and size form few grams to tons.
|Transmission of information
|Uses chemicals to fire the action potential in the neurons.
|Communication is achieved through electrical coded signals.
|Information processing power
|Keyboards, mouse, web cameras, etc.
|Reliability and damageability properties
|Brain is self-organizing, self-maintaining and reliable.
|Computers perform a monotonous job and can't correct itself.
Definition of Brain
A human brain is a very sophisticated and abstract system. It contains 100 billion neurons and about 1012 synapses per cubic centimetre of the cortex. Our brain does several tasks simultaneously that are highly complex such as talking, breathing, listening, seeing, walking, imagining, thinking, smiling, touching, feeling, smelling, learning, taking the decision, monitoring. Such tasks require a lot of processing.
The memory in the human brain is used to encode, retain, store, and consequently reminding information and past experiences. It is a place where all the learned processes and things retained from the activities. This whole process is achieved through neurons. Neurons are the living cells used as the storage units in our brain, which are made up of Synapse. Synapse or neural junction transmits the electric neural impulses from one neuron to other. Our brain contains more than 125 trillion synapses where each neuron is connected to every 10000 or 100000 neurons. It takes 200 billion neurons to store 1 byte of information. But the storage power of the brain is infinite.
The human brain does not follow any topology such as computer networks. It keeps changing its topology and makes a new connection each time a person learns anything. However, the information retrieval in the human brain is very complex where the relevant information is retrieved first then it is represented in any form.
When it comes to processing speed of the brain it is several 100 MIPS(Million computer instruction per second) which is less than a supercomputer, but the reason behind this is the enormous number of nerve cells and the interconnections between them, where the firing speed of the different neurons may vary. To perform the above-given operations brains just need around 1800 calories while computers need more power.
Definition of Computer
A computer is a device (electronic) used to perform computations. It can perform numerous calculations within a second. But when we compare the human brain with a computer, it is far backward. Because the computer cannot perform operations, that an average child’s brain can execute, such as recognizing the handwritten patterns, different voices, inventing new things etcetera. A computer is made of various electronic components such as logic gates, capacitors, diodes, transistors, ICs and so on. This combination of electrical components provides a great speed of processing (can be in nanoseconds).
The amount of storage in computers can be variable and the capacity of the memory is increasing and size of the memory is decreasing by the evolution in the memory devices. But the memory in computers can exist in two forms that are primary and secondary. Primary is used for storing temporary values for calculation processes where fast access or updating is required. This type of memory content vanishes when the power goes off. While secondary memory (Hard disks, removable disk and tape drivers) is used to store the data that should be permanently stored such as systems data programs and other documents. The smallest addressable memory unit is a byte.
To establish connections between the computers using various networking devices (such as switches, hubs, nodes, satellites and workstations) the topologies like star, mesh, bus, ring, are used. It takes a lot of time to connect so many computers locating in various places over the world. LAN, MAN and WAN are the categories to distinguish the network according to the area it covers.
Client and server architecture is used to retrieve the information from the internet. The processing speed of a computer is higher due to multitasking and energy consumption is in gigawatts.
Key Differences Between Brain and Computer
- The brain can have 100 teraflops of memory with a density of 107 circuits per cm3 while computer memory has the 100 million megabytes with a density of 1014 bits per cm3. Memory in brain grows instantly just by connecting synaptic link whereas in a computer to scale the memory the chips need to be added.
- Brain has the inbuilt backup system where the functioning pathways replace the damaged pathways. As against, backup systems are constructed manually in a computer.
- The energy consumption in the brain is less than the computer.
- To store information the brain uses electrochemical and electromagnetic form. Conversely, in a computer, the information is stored in the symbolic and numeric form.
- In the brain, the information is transmitted with the help of chemicals to fire action potential in the neurons. On the contrary, the computer uses electrically coded signals to transmit the data.
- The processing power of the brain is unlimited and provides online processing, but the brain processes information at slow speed because neurons are slow in action. In contrast, the processing power of computers is significant because of fast transistors.
- The brain is self-organised while the computer is preprogrammed structure.
The crucial fact to distinguish the brain and computer is that the brain by default works on number system while computer works on binary language and brain use a heuristic approach to learn by experiences. On the other hand, the computers learn the things that are residing in memory (distributive learning).