Given how much they can actually do, computers have a surprisingly simple basis. Indeed, the logic they use has worked so well that we have even started to think of them as analogous to the human brain. Current computers basically use two basic values – 0 (false) and 1 (true) – and apply simple operations like “and”, “or” and “not” to compute with them. These operations can be combined and scaled up to represent virtually any computation.
This “binary "or "Boolean” logic was introduced by George Boole in 1854 to describe what he called “the laws of thought”. But the brain is far from a binary logic device. And while programmes such as the Human Brain Project seek to model the brain using computers, the notion of what computers are is also constantly changing.