The human brain is the apex of organic processing power technology. Scientists marvel at the sophisticated ways in which neurons interact with each other to create thoughts and memories. Yet, Byoungil Lee and other scientists from Stanford University have recently bridged the gap between neuroscience and computer processors.
This development has been made possible by phase changing materials.
What makes the human brain so powerful, is the fact that neurons strengthen their connections the more often they are used. Since the neurons use chemical and electrical interactions to communicate with each other, the programming language of the brain is more analog and amorphous than its digital binary counterpart, the computer.
But these new phase changing materials allow digital computers to go beyond binary programming language on a hardware level. The system uses a percent-based phase change to make the materials superior to current transistor technology.
A transistor can only be ON or OFF. That is where the “1″ and “0″ from binary comes from.
Yet these phase shift materials can be manipulated “like a lightbulb on a dimmer” which allows for 99 more programmable base values.
To help illustrate the importance of this discovery, one must consider the current constraints on computer processing technology.
Until now, binary computing has driven transistors and processors to become ever-increasingly more miniaturized in order to compensate for the massive amount of heat created by normal integrated circuit operation.
The reason why your laptop computer gets so hot is because electricity has to race around the processors at nearly the speed of light to execute the slightest operation or complete the smallest task.
Nanoelectronic Synapses that utilize phase shift materials are able to work more with less space because each synapse has the instruction capability of 50 or more traditional transistors.
If we combine these developments with what we’ve been hearing about in the realm of artificial intelligence, it is clear to see that radical technological advancements are becoming commonplace. It may not be out of the question for the United States Supreme Court, the United Nations Security Council and the CIA to consider preparations for Artificial Intelligence (AI).
AI is no longer in the realm of science fiction. It is here, now.
Artificial intelligence may be in its nascent stages. But if the exponential advancement of semiconductor innovation is any indicator into how rapidly the artificial minds of computers using Nanoelectric Semiconductors develop…then preparation and serious dialogue is necessary to either welcome or isolate a new race of lifeforms on planet Earth.
SOURCES: news.stanford.edu – Stanford engineers build a nanoscale device for brain-inspired computing – http://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/july/nano-synapse-computing-061211.html – Accessed: October 27th, 2011