The Human Brain vs. the Computer


Over the millennia, Man has come up with countless inventions, each more
ingenious than the last. However, only now, as the computer arises that
mankind\'s sentience itself is threatened. Ridiculous, some may cry, but I say
look about you! The computer has already begun to hold sway over so many of the
vital functions that man has prided himself upon before. Our lives are now
dependent upon the computer and what it tells you. Even now, I type this essay
upon a computer, fully trusting that it will produce a result far superior to
what I can manage with my own to hands and little else.

It has been commonly said that the computer can never replace the human
brain, for it is humans that created them. Is this a good reason why the
computer must be inferior to humans? Is it always true that the object cannot
surpass its creator? How can this be true? Even if we just focus on a single
creation of man, say the subject of this essay, the computer, there are many
ways in which the computer has the edge over man. Let us start with basic
calculation. The computer has the capability to evaluate problems that man can
hardly even imagine, let alone approach. Even if a man can calculate the same
problems as a computer, the computer can do it far faster than he can possibly
achieve. Let us go one step further. Say this man can calculate as fast as a
computer, can he, as the computer can, achieve a 100% rate of accuracy in his
calculation? Why do we now go over the human data entry into a computer when a
mistake is noticed instead of checking the computer? It is because computers
now possess the ability to hold no error in its operation, where mankind has not
advanced in this area in any noticeable margin. Why do you think the words
\'human error\' and \'to err is human\' have become so popular in recent years? It
is because the failings of the human race are becoming more and more exposed as
the computer advances and becomes more and more omnipotent.

Perhaps the computer is not truly a competitor with the human brain but
rather its ideal. After all, the computer is far superior to the human brain in
those aspects where the brain is weakest. It is perhaps the attempt of the
human brain to attain perfection after realising its own weaknesses. If you
think about it carefully, do those who use the computer not use it supplement
their own creative input? Maybe it is the subconscious attempt by us at
reaching the next stage of evolution by our minds, creating a machine to do all
the dirty work for us while we sit back and allow our brains to focus on
creating, or destroying, as the case may be. This machine is the compensation
for the human brain\'s weaknesses.

The human brain has flaws in abundance, yet it also has many an edge
over the computer. It has the capacity to create, unlike the computer, and it
can work without full input, making logical assumptions about problems. A
person can work with a wide variety of methods, seeing new, more efficient ways
of handling problems. It can come up with infinite ways of getting around
problems encountered in day to day life, whilst a computer has a limited
repertoire of new tricks it can come up with, limited by its programming.
Should improved programming be introduced, it is the human brain that figures
out the programming that will allow leeway for any improvements as vaguely
conceived by the human brain. It is the human brain that conceptualises the
formulae and methods by which the computer goes about its work. The human brain,
given the time, can learn to understand anything, it can grasp the central
concept of any concept, whilst the computer tends to take all things in their
entirety, which makes some problems near impossible to solve. Emotions too are
an asset. Emotions allow the human brain to have evolved beyond a problem-
solving machine. In truth, one characteristic of sentience, as we know it, is
emotional maturity! Even a one-year-old baby knows infinitely more about
emotions than the most sophisticated computers. Emotions open the mind to vast,
new realms of possibilities. The reason why computers cannot create is because
of the lack of emotions. Anger allows the imagination to roam, inventing
concepts of new, ever more powerful weapons of destruction. Discontent induces
the mind to conceive of new methods of fulfilment