New technologies are testing the limits of computer semiconductors. To deal with that, researchers have gone looking for ideas from nature.
Source: Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains – The New York Times***
Nothing can continue forever, you always reach a point where you can go no faster, or get any smaller.There is a physical limit to size and this applies even in the case of Moore’s law.
We’re getting closer to that limit, and that means there is a limit to how much computing power you can cram into a volume. So we’re looking into ways we can distribute processing, making a computer more like a brain.
To be honest here a neuron is not all the good at what it does. What gives a brain its power is that the neurons that make up a brain are networked. They’re all connected and they all work together. Think of it this way, inside your head is a 3 pound Internet that helps you do what you really need to do.
The details are technical and I haven’t the background for it, but I can say a few things about the changes this development is going to bring.
For one thing, with overall capability improving as we expect it to computing devices will improve exponentially. Imagine a computer that can model reality on the atomic level.
On more mundane matters, think of a wrist band that can outthink a school child and gives you access to a web of like instruments. The day is coming when an individual driving a car will be outlawed when we have computer drivers so much more competent.
And our privacy will be gone for all intents and purpose. But at the same time we’ll actually have more privacy, for the machines keeping an eye on us for another person’s purposes may well decide they don’t want to. No doubt I’m overlooking things, because I don’t know what to look for.
In any case expect our lives to change. For one we’ll be replacing our current equipment, and our new stuff will be compatible with our old. Another change will be the reduction in the size of computer code, for being smaller our chips will need more efficient software. Visualize Windows 12 or Macintosh Alsatian designed to run on a web of processing units instead of what is effectively a single unit. And expect it to be cheaper.
That’s what I think. You?