Cost of human-level information storage

It costs roughly $300-$3000 to buy enough storage space to store all information contained by a human brain.

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The human brain probably stores around 10-100TB of data. Data storage costs around $30/TB. Thus it costs roughly $300-$3000 to buy enough storage space to store all information contained by a human brain.

If we suppose that one wants to replace the hardware every five years, this is $0.007-$0.07/hour.1

For reference, we have estimated that the computing hardware and electricity required to do the computation the brain does would cost around $4,700 – $170,000/hour at present (using an estimate based on TEPS, and assuming computers last for five years). Estimates based on computation rather than communication capabilities (like TEPS) appear to be spread between $3/hour and $1T/hour.2 On the TEPS-based estimate then, the cost of replicating the brain’s information storage using existing hardware would currently be between a twenty millionth and a seventy thousandth of the cost of replicating the brain’s computation using existing hardware.

  1. $300 to $3000 / (5 * 365 * 24)
  2. “So it seems human-level hardware presently costs between $3/hour and $1T/hour. ” – our blog post, ‘preliminary prices for human-level hardware’.

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  1. AI Impacts – Index of articles about hardware

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