Technology is everywhere. We use it to create art, vehicles, food, bombs, and virtually everything. Computers have played the greatest role in technology breakthrough. Nowadays every house has one. In fact a considerable percentage does not know how to use it but they just had to have it just to say that they’re following the things happening.
Thinking about it, computers and humans have many things in common. It might not be easy to find many similarities but think about it… We have created them, shouldn’t they “work” like we do?
Nonsense? Maybe! Let us see…
Both use electrical signals.
The brain uses chemicals to transmit information; the computer uses electricity. Even though electrical signals travel at high speeds in the nervous system, they travel even faster through the wires in a computer.
Both transmit information.
A computer uses switches that are either on or off (“binary”). In a way, neurons in the brain are either on or off by either firing an action potential or not firing an action potential. However, neurons are more than just on or off because the “excitability” of a neuron is always changing. This is because a neuron is constantly getting information from other cells through synaptic contacts. Information travelling across a synapse does NOT always result in a action potential. Rather, this information alters the chance that an action potential will be produced by raising or lowering the threshold of the neuron.
Both have a memory that can grow.
Computer memory grows by adding computer chips. Memories in the brain grow by stronger synaptic connections.
Both can adapt and learn.
It is much easier and faster for the brain to learn new things. Yet, the computer can do many complex tasks at the same time (“multitasking”) that are difficult for the brain. For example, try counting backwards and multiplying 2 numbers at the same time. However, the brain also does some multitasking using the autonomic nervous system. For example, the brain controls breathing, heart rate and blood pressure at the same time it performs a mental task.
Both need energy.
Brain needs nutrients like oxygen and sugar for power; the computer needs electricity to keep working.
Both Need “Rest”
Humans need sleep to recover from a hard day’s work, computers need a reboot. Reboot takes much less but its also a form of rest for computer memory and chips. Just like human organism’s do.
Cell Membrane – Firewall
The cell membrane acts as a barrier separating the cell’s external and internal environments. Second, it acts as a filter allowing the entry of wanted elements while keeping out unwanted elements (Barrett et al., 1986). In comparison, network perimeter architectures consist of external routers, intrusion detection systems and firewalls that together define the organization’s “point of presence” demarking the internal network from the public Internet. Like cell membranes, firewalls also filter out unwanted data communications while permitting wanted data to enter. Furthermore, analogies concerning threats exist between firewalls and plasma membranes. Any transport channel that circumvents the plasma membrane endangers the cell (Friedman, 1986) just as an unauthorized modem or a faulty firewall logic rule can endanger an entire organizational network.
Viruses cause disease when they enter cells and ‘hijack’ the cell’s own protein-making machinery, causing the cells to STOP production of normal cellular proteins, and START making viral proteins and copying viral DNA or RNA. Once the cell makes enough of the viral proteins and DNA, the cell even assembles these parts to make complete viruses in cells! At this point, when there are up to a few hundred mature viruses in the cell, the virus often bursts out of the cell, causing destruction of that cell, and an avenue of escape to spread to neighbouring cells. Some viruses (like the Herpes viruses) also have the ability to insert their DNA into the DNA of their host, and exist as a “latent” virus until environmental conditions are right for the virus to exit cells.
Memory – Programming
Human memory works with many similarities with programming. HTML is a computer programming language for the Internet. What it does is that when we store information we create a Hyperlink so when the user clicks on it, he/she is redirected to the information. Humans “work” the same way when they use to remember something using an experience (linking).
Well, it seems that if we think about it for a minute we can come up with many more similarities. Computers imitate many of our “functions” with their own special way, making them a good tool for us to have fun and work.
Dedicated to all Mothers and Fathers who Still are afraid of Computers!