All the world’s computers equal to one human mind

The time may come when a computer will be able to out-compute a human, but not yet. According to a recent study, adding up all the computation power in every laptop, server, mainframe, cell phone, and digital processors of all kinds, everywhere on the planet will give you approximately the ability to handle approximately 6.4 x 10^18 operations a second. About the same as a human brain.

All the worlds storage – paper, film, hard-drives, etc. would give you same amount of storage as human DNA. In other words, somewhere around 2011 the planet has enough computing power to account for 1 extra person. The vast amount of “thinking” is still done by organic chemistry. Read the article I read on ARS Technica.

Join the discussion 16 Comments

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    Scientists have always been fixed in a thought where they wish to discover something that can out beat human mind. However they have been still been successful in achieving this aim of theirs. The emotional aspect and the philosophy that human mind has cannot be compared to any machine.

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  • payday loan payday loan says:

    Mindbreaker, a single neurone firing can influence a bunch of other
    neurones, not just one. There’s more than a bit of data per firing too.
    Emulating neuronal behaviour takes ~0.1 million instructions per firing
    or thereabouts. Look up any of the brain emulations in silico and see
    what they reckon. 

  •  Dating says:

    arious sources cited by this Wikipedia article (
    seem to indicate that the human genome can be optimally stored in a far
    smaller space than this article seems to indicate – megabytes or low
    gigabytes – nowhere near the total storage capacity of the planet.

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  • Jcarp179 says:

    I found a conflicting point of information, I think. I have looked around several articles estimating the number of operations per second of the human brain, and they ranged from around 10 quadrillion to 20 quadrillion operations (also referred to as instructions, those being the same thing?) per second. I don’t know if this number has been modified since then, but I doubt it, considering our knowledge of the number of cells and connections among the cells seems to be holding reasonably stable. The number of operations per second for the human brain listed here is 6.4 quintillion operations per second.

    I won’t go into a lengthy list of articles, but one such exemplary article is here:

    Any thoughts?

    • benshoemate says:

      Yeah, a few thoughts – I’m not sure we will ever be able to calculate the true number of calculations of the human brain. The closest we may ever get is how many calculation are required to “simulate” the brain. I suspect that animal nervous systems actually leverage a form of quantum computing making thought “operation” untracable (I only have a very vague idea what that means but I can imagine evolution stumbling on “tricks” of physics to find short-cuts to complete the massive number of calculations required to do the things our brain does – like realtime navigation through a 3d world while having a conversation about another virtual 3d world, while maybe day dreaming about yet another complete world – its mind boggling) 

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