The "man vs. machine" race heated up during the 1950s and 1960s, when supercomputers came into their own. Supercomputers are extremely powerful and can process massive amounts of data very quickly. Even today, they take up entire rooms and sap electricity at astonishing rates. They're used for a wide range of tasks, including climate research, animated graphics, nuclear energy research and military applications. If computers can do all that, some may wonder why we humans are still around.