5G and the Human Brain : Things that go Bump in the Night !!


It might seem impossible to identify a dozen images flashing by in a fraction of a second.But a team of neuroscientists has found that the human brain can do just that at record-breaking speed. U.S. researchers have discovered that the human brain can interpret images that the eye sees in just 13 milliseconds – the first evidence of such rapid processing speed.

This rapid-fire processing may help direct the eyes, which shift their gaze three times per second, to their next target, explains Professor Potter in a study, published in the journal Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics. According to the estimates by the Artificial Intelligence project funded by Elon Musk, human brains are 30 times more powerful than the world’s best supercomputers.

Now you may ask what has the power of the Brain got to do with 5 G ? The target for Latency in 5 g is less than 1 msec.By all accounts it appears the 1 msec Latency ( to be achieved in the 5G Spec ) is lower than that of the human brain when interpreting an image at 13 msec !!

The Brain is also substantially shaped by what we do to it and by the experience of daily life.The development of new technologies has increased dramatically.Our brains are under the influence of an ever- expanding world of new technology: multichannel television, video games, MP3 players, the internet, wireless networks, Bluetooth links – the list goes on and on. This will affect our brains over the next 100 years in ways we might never have imagined.

Could 5 G lead us to design better robots , self drive cars , data mining and analysis, medical diagnosis, stock-trading analysis and “other smart human-interactive systems and machines in the future ? Could nations with 5 G networks empower their people with technology that will dramatically improve the speed with which they conduct “ cerebral “ tasks on their computers ? And the countries without super light speed networks forever doomed in the mud of latency ?

The new age Telco exec needs to recognize according to the words of Alvin Toffler “ that the faster pace of change demands—and creates—a new kind of information system in society: a loop, rather than a ladder. Information must pulse through this loop at accelerating speeds, with the output of one group becoming the input for many others, so that no group, however politically potent it may seem, can independently set goals for the whole “. But isn’t 5 G going to do exactly that ….one group / nation with such high speed at their disposal might impose a new form of hegemony on those without ?

Despite the rosy promise of the new transformative technologies I have nagging suspicion ( don’t get me wrong..i am an optimist and absolute fan of new technologies and their global impact ) that the Digital and Economic Divide will widen…some advanced countries will be on 5G light speed networks and all the applications and cerebral fireworks that brings while others will struggle with low speed networks. Will we see a new kind of human being created ? The ones with access to light speed networks might think faster than those without the benefit of the same.And does that mean that those who learn , think , act faster will use their advantage to exploit others ? A new battle between those between those who have better technologies and those who do not …the bullet versus the arrow ??

In the age of 5G , the gap between skilled labor and unskilled labor will get further amplified. Connectivity is going to be great for the world. Connectivity will drive access to a better life. But if we expect connectivity to solve the problem of inequality, we will need to deliberately address this issue in the architecture of the connected systems that we build.

“Every period of human development has had its own particular type of human conflict—its own variety of problem that, apparently, could be settled only by force. And each time, frustratingly enough, force never really settled the problem. Instead, it persisted through a series of conflicts, then vanished of itself—what’s the expression—ah, yes, ‘not with a bang, but a whimper,’ as the economic and social environment changed. And then, new problems, and a new series of wars.” ( Isaac Asimov I Robot )

Sadiq Malik ( Telco Strategist )


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