Comparison between the Human mind and the Computer
A Comparison between the Human mind and the Computer
The human mind and the computer are tools for thinking that have a lot of similarities as well as differences - Comparison between the Human mind and the Computer introduction. Today, computers, much like the human mind, play an essential role in most people’s lives. They are used for typing school work with relative ease, making a financial report, or simply writing a letter. However, there are tasks, activities and other things that the human mind can do better than the computer and vice versa.
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One of the main differences between the human mind and the computer as tools for thinking is their requirement for performance. Basically, the human mind and the computer use electrical signals to coordinate its activities (University of Washington, 2008). The human mind uses signals called neurotransmitters that are transmitted to throughout the entire body and tells it what action to perform. On the other hand, the electrical signals used by the computer travel through wires and coordinate its activities. However, the difference is that the mind doesn’t solely need electric signals in order to function. It also needs oxygen and other nutrients in order to stay healthy whereas the computer needs electricity to perform any function.
Another difference is the way the mind and computer process information. Although both should have an input before any information is processed, the computer has to be commanded about what task to do (ThinkQuest.org, 2008) For example, in order for a computer to sum up a set of figures or numbers in Microsoft Excel, a person first has to command it using the “auto-sum” feature of the software. The human mind, on the other hand, merely has to visualize the numbers and add them all up without being dependent on another person. The mind simply needs a stimulus that would tell the senses what to do and how to process the information. For example, a mind can easily identify a butterfly by simply looking at it or determine a foul order by associating it with something it has smelled before. However the difference is that computers can make computations and logical calculations faster then the human mind (University of Washington, 2008). For example, in a matter of seconds, a computer can multiply two large figures or complex equations such as 9,228 x 345. In the case of the human mind, it may take some time before it can process the information and solve the problem.
Furthermore, the computer can process multiply information and perform several tasks at the same time while the mind cannot do so especially if they are complicated or complex activities. For example, a human mind cannot easily count backwards and then subtract 155 to 489 at the same time. It has to select and perform one task first before it can move to the next one. In other words, the computer can multitask easier and faster than the human mind. Thus, in this aspect, it can be said that the human mind is superior over the computer as the latter needs to be commanded first before it can do anything. On the other hand, the computer is better than the human mind in the sense that it can process complex logical information in an instant.
Furthermore, unlike computers, the memory storage and processing of them mind is not fixed (Chatham, 2007). The brain can receive and store an enormous number of information and does not have to delete other data to generate memory space like computers do. Most of all, the mind has endless possibilities while the computer has limited actions and functions. Even scientists and researchers admit that there are a lot of things they do not know yet about the brain, which means it could do more things or perform more actions that people do not know about. Although a computer can rapidly process most types of information better than human minds, it cannot distinguish a male between a female nor can it interpret poems. The human mind, on the other hand, can virtually create a world of its own, write a draft for the next best-selling novel, analyze a painting, and other things that involve thinking. In short, the single best action that the human mind can perform as a thinking tool is to use the power of imagination.
Catham, C. (2007). 10 Important Differences Between Brains and Computers. ScienceBlogs.com. Retrieved December 5, 2008 from http://scienceblogs.com/developingintelligence/2007/03/why_the_brain_is_not_like_a_co.php.
ThinkQuest.org. (2008). Man vs. Machine. Retrieved December 5, 2008 from http://library.thinkquest.org/C001501/the_saga/compare.htm.
University of Washington. (2008). The Brain vs. The Computer. Neuroscience for Kids. Retrieved December 5, 2008 from http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/bvc.html.