DeepSouth AI supercomputer to become first at a human brain scale

AI supercomputer - Hand holding up digital brain

The technology is under development by Western Sydney University and will go live in 2024.

Scientists in Australia at Western Sydney University are currently developing an AI supercomputer called DeepSouth, which it expects to be as powerful as the human brain.

A human brain is exceptionally energy efficient for the amount it can accomplish per watt of power.

To process the equivalent of a billion-billion (also known as an exaflop) mathematical operations per second, the human brain requires only 20 watts of power. The researchers are now working on creating the first AI supercomputer, DeepSouth, that will be able to simulate networks at a scale comparable to the human brain.

AI supercomputer - Image of Western Sydney University Sign

The computer will go online in 2024, and it is expected to be able to complete 228 trillion synaptic operations per second. This is about the estimated operation rate of a human’s brain. The goal of the computer is to gain a better understanding of how the human brain can process such a large amount of information while requiring so little power with which to do so.

If the researchers discover these answers, there is potential for the creation of a future cyborg brain that could one day become substantially more powerful than that of a human. Moreover, it could help us to better understand our own brains and how they work.

The AI supercomputer may help to develop computers while also aiding in better understanding humans.

“Progress in our understanding of how brains compute using neurons is hampered by our inability to simulate brain-like networks at scale,” explained Western Sydney University director at the International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems André van Schaik.

“Simulating spiking neural networks on standard computers using Graphics Processing Units and multicore Central Processing Units is just too slow and power intensive,” van Shaik went on to point out. “Our system will change that.”

The AI supercomputer is intended to be used as much for the study of neuroscience as it is an advancement in computing. With what is learned from the development and use of this technology, both tech and the understanding of the human brain and its functions may become clearer.

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