Machines have been outperforming the human brain for a while now. Deep Blue vs. Garry Kasparov, Watson vs. Ken Jennings, Siri vs. my hungover inability to operate technology. Now IBM's Blue Gene is trying to not just outperform, but simulate the whole damn human brain. It's 4.5 percent of the way there.
The Blue Gene project was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2009, and just two years ago it needed 147,456 (then-Power-PC) processors to simulate a cat brain. It now has the cat simulation down to 24,576 processors, and has squeezed 4.5 percent of the human brain into the same 147,456 processors. And it's still on pace to finish the job of turning the human mind into a componentially-replicable thing by 2019, which researchers think will take about 880,000 processors. So you've got eight years to figure out a way to contribute to society that isn't wholly reliant on your brain. [IBM via Scientific American]