This is one of those “we are living in the future” stories.
An article from Futurism reports that scientists at the University of Exeter have engineered a breakthrough in the quest for the “holy grail” of computing. These “holy grail” microchips would be able to mimic the human brain by storing and processing information at the same level as humans.
The Exeter team developed photonic computer chips which use light instead of electricity to stimulate the operation of brain synapses.
These photonic synapses reportedly operate at speeds a thousand times the speed of a human brain. This breakthrough could lead to a new level of computing where machines can think and work in ways similar to humans, while also surpassing humans with the speed and power efficiency of photonic systems.
Professer Harish Bhaskaran of Oxford, who led the team, said “The development of computers that work more like the human brain has been a holy grail of scientists for decades. Via a network of neurons and synapses the brain can process and store vast amounts of information simultaneously, using only a few tons of Watts of power. Conventional computers can’t come close to this sort of performance.”
Daniel C. Wright, a co-author from the Exeter team, added that “Electronic computers are relatively slow, and the faster we make them the more they consume. Conventional computers are also pretty ‘dumb,’ with none of the in-built learning and parallel processing capabilities of the human brain. We tackle both of these issues here — not only by developing not only new brain-like computer architectures, but also by working in the optical domain to leverage the huge speed and power advantages of the upcoming silicon photonics revolution.”
This advance in developing a light-based microchip that rivals the speed and processing power of the human brain could lead to a future with artificially intelligent robots working all around us.
Who knows, in the near future, you may be served your morning latte in hyper-speed by an AI-powered barista behind the bar at your local coffee shop.