VOL 23
Issue 11v28
Str Date: 2023.332.

Is the Human Brain More Productive Than a Computer?


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Is the Human Brain More Productive Than a Computer?

If we ask you, what is more productive– your brain or the computer or electronic device you are using to read this article, what would you choose?
The answer to this question is not that simple, and with the ever-increasing advancements and human dependence on computers, it is getting more and more complex with each passing day.
After all, there is no doubt that computers have become an inseparable part of all our lives today, and their importance has grown tenfold after the Covid-19 pandemic, the worldwide lockdown, and the work-from-home lifestyle that ensued it. They are playing an essential role in increasing our productivity. At present, it is difficult to even spend a single day without coming face to face with a computer screen, isn’t it?
And now we have Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning making new developments and reaching new milestones every day, leaving us wondering whether a time will come where computers would overpower the brains of human beings.
There is no doubt that technology and electronic devices like smartphones, computers, and others are helping us in several ways today. They have made our work manageable and more straightforward, but how does a computer compare to the human brain? Is it more intelligent and productive than the brains of human beings? Does the mighty human mind still have the edge over a computer?
Let’s find out!

Man Vs. Machine

Man vs. Machine has always been a hot topic for a good debate– the one that never gets old, but choosing one over the other is certainly not a piece of cake.
You do not need to be a technology nerd to see and accept the incredible advancements technology keeps making every day. Keeping that in mind, you might be tempted to say that machines are simply better, faster, and more productive than the brains of humans. And you would not be wrong, at least not entirely.
However, underestimating the potentials of the world’s most complex creation, that is, the human brain, is a mistake you should not be making.  While a computer is indeed more competent and insanely faster at solving complex problems and performing things within a few clicks, the human brain still holds the advantage on tasks that machines simply cannot execute, at least not yet.
Computers are much more efficient at storing and retaining a large chunk of information due to their super-smart ‘brain,’ which comprises multiple processors with advanced technology. This enables a computer to take in and process data at superhuman speed, which is just not possible for us mortals. Unlike us, a computer is also not bound with biological limitations. It doesn’t require sleep the way we do; its ‘brain’ doesn’t get tired like ours, which makes it efficient for computing, analyzing, and accomplishing tasks relentlessly at all times, leaving the software bugs, the hardware damages, or vulnerability to power blackouts out of the picture.
It is a known fact that a computer is simply better suited for executing a wide range of high-value functions than we are. This is because emotions do not influence them, fears, feelings, wants, needs, and several other factors usually affect human judgment, decision-making ability, and intelligence.
However, our brains still have the upper hand in a lot of ways.
We might not be able to work relentlessly like a machine. Still, we do tasks, make decisions, and solve problems based not just on our intelligence but on our life experiences, our instincts, and most importantly, our common sense. This is something a machine just can not do. Yes, it can be taught and programmed with a massive range of data and information, but it just cannot experience life as a human brain does.
Our brains are a wonderfully complex creation of nature that possesses the power of creativity and imagination, perhaps the two most significant things that make us humans better than even the most powerful machines.
People can write a full-fledged book, compose and play music, make a joke, or simply dream up and create a new invention. However, it is nothing but the brains of many extraordinary humans that made the world what it is today. Our brains also can recognize things on their own and can easily differentiate between several objects. A computer can be programmed to reproduce some of the work we do, but it doesn’t possess the inherent ability to imagine, recognize and create things the way the human brain does.

However, when we talk about the productivity of a thing, three key elements make it or break it. They are:

  • Speed
  • Memory/ retaining ability
  • Energy efficiency

So how does the human brain perform when compared to a computer in the area of productivity? Let’s make a comparison of the two and figure it out.

Read on!

1. Speed

When it comes to processing speed, a computer easily outperforms the human brain. It is extremely fast at crunching numbers, doing complex calculations, and generating results within nanoseconds. Computers can efficiently perform basic arithmetic operations, like addition and subtraction, etc., at a speed of 10 billion operations per second. A human brain simply cannot match it. It is humanly impossible.

Computer processors are usually measured in gigahertz, which comprises billions of cycles per second. That is insanely fast! And then we have supercomputers too.
On the other hand, the human brain is made up of nerve cells, called neurons. The signals on these neurons travel at about one-millionth of the speed of fiber optic cables. As a result, neurons can only fire about 200 times per second or 200 hertz. And let’s not overlook the fact that human brains get tired, forget, and die.  So a computer will always have an edge if we measure the processing speed with a human brain.

2. Memory

When we talk about memory, we are essentially talking about the durability and the retaining power of a thing. If a computer ‘knows’ something, it will always know it, and that fact will always be accessible. For example, if a computer knows that the fastest animal on the planet is Cheetah, this information will always be available with it. However, that cannot be said for the brains of human beings. Our brain may forget that fact after some time or get confused, especially after reading a lot about similar animals.
However, the ability to assign qualitative rankings to information gives human brains the upper hand here. A computer sees all information as precisely the same. While we, humans, have many different types of memories and can easily prioritize memories based on their significance. You can easily remember details about your last dinner date or the previous Christmas you celebrated with your family.
Not only that, our brain even can easily and quickly relate memories to one another. For example, this is the reason you can easily tie the memory of your last Christmas to all of those you celebrated in the past years. It is a pretty amazing thing that our brains do, while a computer lacks this ability.

3. Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of a human brain might surprise you. Brains are much more energy-efficient than an average computer. While a personal computer needs a minimum of 100 watts of power to perform a task, our brain needs just about 10 watts. Yes, you read that right! Our brains require less energy than an average lightbulb. Now, isn’t that amazing? And not to forget, they are small enough to fit inside our heads nicely.
There is no doubt that computers are getting faster day by day, but they need a massive amount of power to function correctly. At the same time, our brains perform several complicated tasks every day and guide us through years of complex life, requiring less data than an average computer operating system.

The Bottom Line

The comparison clearly shows that there is no exact winner overall. While a computer possesses the breakneck speed of performing complex tasks and retaining powers, the human brain is much more efficient at parallel processing and sorting out information.
The emotions, creativity, common sense, and imagination skills that a human brain possesses are simply unmatched, at least for now. And, the human brain is what created and continues to develop these super-fast computers in the first place. So, crowning one as the winner and declaring it to be more productive than the other is simply not possible.

However, here’s the good news: we do not need to choose one over the other!

As technology keeps on growing day by day, and as neuroscientists uncover more secrets about the brain with the help of computers, of course, we can expect to witness some amazing breakthroughs and technological developments. The competition between human brains and computers is not what the world needs. It is the collaboration between the two that will take the human race to places![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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