Bioengineer Kwabena Boahen makes Esquire’s list of geniuses who give us hope

December 1st, 2010

dish_boahen_2KWABENA BOAHEN, associate professor of bioengineering and, by courtesy, of electrical engineering, is on Esquire magazine’s current list of “The Brightest: 16 geniuses who give us hope.”
Boahen, who grew up in Ghana, has been programming computers since he got his first one at age 16 and was surprised at the amount of energy consumption required to do the simplest programming tasks.
“To Boahen, making computers more efficient isn’t about being green. It’s about removing the limits of what computers can do for society and solving practical problems,” writes Douglas Fox in the Esquire profile. “Sixty years ago, Alan Turing, the father of artificial intelligence, predicted that we would soon ask computers questions, and they would answer us as people do. It hasn’t happened, largely because of one huge problem: A computer with as much number-crunching ability as the brain would devour around sixty million watts of electricity — equal to a hydroelectric power plant. ‘Unless we are way more efficient, there’s no way we can do it,’ says Boahen. ‘Even if we knew how to program it, it’s just physically not possible.’”

Read the full article on Esquire’s website.