Nanowire Memristor Networks Form 'Brains'

Networks of nanowire memristors are being studied to see if it might be possible for such a network to mimic the way an organic brain works. Professor John Boland, Director of CRANN, a nanoscience institute, and a Professor in the School of Chemistry, has been awarded a 2.5 million euro research grant to study this effect. He has said that the research could result in computer networks that mimic the functions of the human brain and vastly improve on current computer capabilities such as facial recognition.

Nanowires, made of materials such as copper or silicon, are just a few atoms thick and can be readily engineered into networks. Researchers worldwide are investigating the possibility that nanowires hold the future of energy production (solar cells) and could deliver the next generation of computers.

Boland has discovered that exposing a random network of nanowires to stimuli like electricity, light and chemicals generates a chemical reaction at the junctions of the nanowires, corresponding to synapses in the brain. By controlling the stimuli, it is possible to harness these reactions to manipulate the connectivity within the network. This could eventually allow computations that mimic the functions of neurons — particularly the development of associative memory functions.

“This funding from the European Research Council allows me to continue my work to deliver the next generation of computing, which differs from the traditional digital approach, said Boland. “My research will create nanowire networks that have the potential to mimic aspects of the neurological functions of the human brain, which may revolutionize the performance of current day computers. It could be truly ground-breaking.”


(Nanowire memristor research video)

"Learning involves the firing of the right neurons in the right sequence. By engineering these artificial nanowires in the right ways we are able to make them fire in appropriate ways. And we're trying to understand if we can make them fire in ways that mimic the kind of firing inside the human brain."
-Professor John Boland, Director of CRANN.

The earliest reference that I know about is the artificial, inorganic artificial brain from Edmond Hamilton's 1926 story The Metal Giants:

No doubt it was a startling proposition, to construct an artificial brain that would possess consciousness, memory, reasoning power...

...Detmold had attacked the problem from a different standpoint. It was his theory that the sensations of the nervous system are flashed to the brain as electric currents, or vibrations, and that it was the action of these vibratory currents on the brain-stuff that caused consciousness and thought. Thus, instead of trying to make simple, living cells and from them work up the complicated structure of the brain, he had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless, yet whose atomic structure he claimed was analogous to the atomic structure of a living brain. He had then applied countless different electrical vibrations to this metallic brain-stuff, and finally announced that under vibrations of certain frequencies the organ had showed faint signs of consciousness.

Via Kurzweil AI.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/12/2013)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Computer ")

'No Man's Sky' - The Matrix Is Almost Ready
Ready for an adventure, Neo?

Google's Project Tango VR Tablet Pictures Your 3D World
'Surely most were virtual, but the blending was perfection.' - Vernor Vinge, 2006.

Oculus Rift Combats Battlefield Trauma
Virtual reality could soften the blow of real reality.

Google Offers Future Prediction In The Cloud
'Beyond the machinery sat the three precogs, almost lost to view in the maze of wiring...'- Philip K. Dick, 1956.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

New Material Is One Molecule Thick
'Hasan always pitched a Gauzy - a one-molecule-layer tent...'

Robot Swarm Obeys Commands
'What is the nature of this cloud? What is your opinion?'

AliveCor App Detects Heart Arrhythmias, Has FDA Approval
Works on humans and puppeteers.

Laws Of Robotics Rewritten for Health Care
A lot has happened in health care robotics since 1942...

Origami Robot Finally Self-Assembles, Walks On Its Own
Now shipping flat, but better than Ikea, because self-assembling.

A.L.O. Robot Butler Serves You At Aloft Hotel
'Her idea of what a butler-valet combo should look like...'

Mometum Machines Burgerbot
'One of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus...'

Google Lobbies For Autonomous Motorcycles
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'

No Cages In Future Zoos Is Zootopia?
'The park... twisted through specimens from every inhabited planet of the known universe.'

Navdy HeadUp Display (HUD) For Your Car
'All displays are thrown on a mirror in front of you...'

Computer 'Aesop' Writes Fables With A Moral
'I handed Tony the master tape and he played it into the IBM'

Artificial Wombs - Ectogenesis Technology - Is On The Way
'Magnificent, aren't they? (Lama Su, in Star Wars II)

Robotic Exoskeleton For Shipyard Workers
'Earth's scientists solved the problem... devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor...'

Timeful Appointment App Learns, Optimizes Your Routines
'The [Daily Schedule program] suited its tone to his movements and the combined analysis of his psychophysical condition.'

3D Printing Your Science-Fictional Metals
I love science-fictional materials!

Bespoke Clothing In 30 Minutes
'He sat himself down in a sales cubicle and dialed the code number for kilts.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.