One litre of fuel would serve the UK for a year and oil reserves would last the expected lifetime of the solar system - if efficiency in the car industry had improved at the same rate as in the computer world - a leading computer scientist will tell an audience in Manchester on Friday 20 June 2008.
Professor Steve Furber CBE, ICL Professor of Computer Engineering at The University of Manchester, will deliver the inaugural Kilburn Lecture to mark Digital 60 Day the 60th anniversary of The Baby computer, designed and built at The University of Manchester in 1948.
In his lecture entitled 'The Relentless March of the Microchip', Professor Furber will note that computers are now 50 BILLION times more energy-efficient than the 'Baby', which weighed roughly one tonne and took up a whole room.
Going on to talk about one of the Grand Challenges for the next two decades of computing research, Prof Furber will say that although scientists still don't understand many of the principles of operation of the complex human brain, computers are becoming powerful enough to model significant components of brain function.
He will go on to suggest that perhaps the understanding that has so far eluded scientists is now within their grasp.
Speaking ahead of the lecture, Professor Furber said: "Biological systems demonstrate many of the properties we aspire to incorporate into our engineered technology, so perhaps that suggests a possible source of ideas that we could seek to incorporate into future novel computation systems.
"Current research at Manchester into the development of the 'Brain Box' computer is a contribution to the computing Grand Challenge of 'Understanding the Architecture of Brain and Mind', and will provide a platform for the investigation of these important issues that face the microchip industry in the near future."
Digital 60 Day marks the 60th anniversary the birth of the 'Baby' or Small Scale Experi
|Contact: Alex Waddington|
University of Manchester