'Artificial brain' only 10 years away

Project aims to better understand mental illness

brain

A leading scientist has claimed that a detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years.

Speaking at the TED global conference in Oxford, professor Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, claimed to have already simulated elements of a rat brain.

"It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years," he confidently asserted.

Understanding mental illness

Professor Markram also revealed that one of the main aims of the project to create a synthetic brain was to better understand mental illness.

"There are two billion people on the planet affected by mental disorder. The project may give insights into new treatments," he said.

During the talk Professor Markram also revealed something of the computing power needed to facilitate the team's research.

According to Markram at least one individual computer is required to process the data from every single neuron, meaning that at least ten thousand computers would be required to chart multiple neurons.