Brain-Like Computers Are Closer to Reality Than You Might Think

Brain-Like Computers Are Closer to Reality Than You Might Think

Computers have definitely come a long way over the last few years both in terms of pure power and efficiency. However, creating actual brain-like computers has not been possible outside of laboratories so far, mainly because of the sheer power requirements. Now, it looks like a team of researchers has managed to create a series of nanowire synapses that basically sip on power, as they need just 1.23 femtojoules in order to function properly. In order to put things in perspective, keep in mind that an actual neuron needs 10 femtojoules. It’s definitely safe to assume that things are moving in the right direction when it comes to brain-like computers, which is a good thing too because they could be used to animate smarter robots or more advanced self-driving cars, not to mention the potential advantages in medical diagnosis.

The nanowire synapses that we mentioned above rely on a wrap of two organic materials that release and trap ions in a manner similar to actual nerve fibers. Right now, the nanowires are 200 nanometers thick, but scientists hope to shrink them to just a few dozen nanometers in the near future. In order to do this, though, they’ll need access to more advanced 3D-printing techniques in order to create structures that resemble real brains. Brain-like computers are definitely closer to reality these days, but I’m sure that some of you are wondering just how smart and human-like do we want our computers to become?

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