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13th August 2013

Spike Gerrell: The Economist Science Feature

Spike loves science, so he was chuffed to be asked to illustrate The Economist‘s feature about neuromorphic computing. ‘What is neuromorphic computing‘ you may ask? Well, instead of thinking of brains as being like computers, scientists want to make computers more like brains. This way, they believe, humanity will end up not only with a better understanding of how the brain works, but also with better and smarter computers.

“These visionary scientists describe themselves as neuromorphic engineers. Their goal is to design a computer that has some—and preferably all—of three characteristics that brains have and computers do not. These are: low power consumption (human brains use about 20 watts, whereas the supercomputers currently used to try to simulate them need megawatts); fault tolerance (losing just one transistor can wreck a microprocessor, but brains lose neurons all the time); and a lack of need to be programmed (brains learn and change spontaneously as they interact with the world, instead of following the fixed paths and branches of a predetermined algorithm)”.

As you can see from his creations below, Spike used his very own brain neurons to great effect to illustrate the science fiction that might become science fact one day. The question is, will a computer ever be able to take the place of an illustrator?

Read more in ‘The Machine of a New Soul’ online.

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