Natural Computing: DNA, Quantum Bits, and the Future of Smart Machines
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Reports from the cutting edge, where physics and biology are changing the fundamental assumptions of computing.
Computers built from DNA, bacteria, or foam. Robots that fix themselves on Mars. Bridges that report when they are aging. This is the bizarre and fascinating world of Natural Computing. Computer scientist and Scientific American’s “Puzzling Adventures” columnist Dennis Shasha here teams up with journalist Cathy Lazere to explore the outer reaches of computing. Drawing on interviews with fifteen leading scientists, the authors present an unexpected vision: the future of computing is a synthesis with nature. That vision will change not only computer science but also fields as disparate as finance, engineering, and medicine. Space engineers are at work designing machines that adapt to extreme weather and radiation. “Wetware” processing built on DNA or bacterial cells races closer to reality. One scientist’s “extended analog computer” measures answers instead of calculating them using ones and zeros. In lively, readable prose, Shasha and Lazere take readers on a tour of the future of smart machines. 50 illustrations
Are taught about reliability, but not safety,” she says. There is no formal education in system safety. Engineers have to learn on the job from other system safety engineers. Reliability and safety may sound similar, but they differ greatly. For example, if you examine a valve in a nuclear power plant, you can determine that the valve is reliable but you can’t predict whether the plant will be safe. “Safety depends on interaction. In system theory, safety is considered an emergent property,”.
Death. By matching the computing to the work, he was able to ensure that each Z80 could do most of the necessary work on its own, requiring only occasional communication with the other Z80s. The wiring machine showed the promise of a new paradigm: parallel machines could work much faster than mainframes. Ironically, this paradigm almost led to IBM’s downfall two decades later, when groups of microprocessors replaced much more expensive mainframes. Denneau’s next machine was called the Yorktown.
Create hills and valleys. If you would look at them as a topographic map, you could create an H.” That’s the “Hello, world!” program for an analog computer. Mills produces the hills and valleys by creating current sources at certain points and current sinks at other points. In his most recent configuration, he has 25 possible points of control. He has found a pattern of sources and sinks that would generate every letter in the alphabet. Does each letter look the same every time? Well, yes and.
Also felt that digital computation might not be the best method for modeling nature, at least not all of it. Mills says, “Remember Feynman’s famous question: Why does it take a digital computer so much computation to model what goes on in a little piece of nature?” * * * Computing on Foam The current version of the extended analog computer: top view. You can find the supplies to build the hardware of the extended analog computer in any traditional hobby shop. It is constructed on a.
Press, 1985. Chapter 12: DAVID SHAW Bowers, Kevin J., Ron O. Dror, and David E. Shaw. “Overview of Neutral Territory Methods for the Parallel Evaluation of Pairwise Interactions.” Journal of Physics: Conference Series 16 (2005): 300–304. Shaw, David E., Martin M. Deneroff, Ron O. Dror, Jeffrey S. Kuskin, Richard H. Larson, John K. Salmon, Cliff Young, Brannon Batson, Kevin J. Bowers, Jack C. Chao, Michael P. Eastwood, Joseph Gagliardo, J. P. Grossman, C. Richard Ho, Douglas J. Ierardi,.