The Human Brain Project: following CERN’s example
40-S2-D01 - Salle Dirac
The Human Brain Project aims to lay the technical foundations for a new model of ICT-based brain research, driving integration between data and knowledge from different disciplines, and catalyzing a community effort to achieve a new understanding of the brain, new treatments for brain disease and new brain-like computing technologies. This will enable collaborative research in brain research and its applications similar to the way that CERN has pioneered this type of large-scale collaborative science for high engery physics. The HBP aims to build 6 ICT platforms: Neuroinformatics Platform, Medical Informatics Platform, Brain Simulation Platform, High Performance Computing Platform, Neuromorphic Computing Platform and Neurorobotics Platform as part of the mission. The primary reason that we do not understand the brain is because what we know is highly fragmented. The overarching strategy of the HBP is therefore to bind researchers from different disciplines together in a grand attempt at putting the fragmented pieces of data and knowledge together into a unifying computer model of the Human brain. Major trends in ICT indicate the time is ripe to begin this international effort. The potential benefits are huge: in brain research we could begin to understand how the brain codes physical reality and gives rise to cognition and behavior by exploiting 9 orders of magnitude on the spatial scale and 18 orders of magnitude on the temporal scale; in clinical brain research, we will be able to begin mapping out the vulnerabilities of the different brain diseases and develop personalized medicine; in future computing we will be able to extract tested architectures and validated principles to build brain-inspired interactive supercomputers and tailored neuromorphic computing systems that could increase efficiency of certain types of computing by several orders of magnitude.
Coordinator of the Human Brain Project, EPFL