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Harvard scientists invent the synaptic transistor that learns while it computes

Harvard scientists invent the synaptic transistor that learns while it computes | Drone | Scoop.it

It doesn't take a Watson to realize that even the world's best supercomputers are staggeringly inefficient and energy-intensive machines.

 

Our brains have upwards of 86 billion neurons, connected by synapses that not only complete myriad logic circuits; they continuously adapt to stimuli, strengthening some connections while weakening others. We call that process learning, and it enables the kind of rapid, highly efficient computational processes that put Siri and Blue Gene to shame.

 

Materials scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have now created a new type of transistor that mimics the behavior of a synapse. The novel device simultaneously modulates the flow of information in a circuit and physically adapts to changing signals.

 

Exploiting unusual properties in modern materials, the synaptic transistor could mark the beginning of a new kind of artificial intelligence: one embedded not in smart algorithms but in the very architecture of a computer.

 

“There’s extraordinary interest in building energy-efficient electronics these days,” says principal investigator Shriram Ramanathan, associate professor of materials science at Harvard SEAS.

 

“Historically, people have been focused on speed, but with speed comes the penalty of power dissipation. With electronics becoming more and more powerful and ubiquitous, you could have a huge impact by cutting down the amount of energy they consume.”

 

The human mind, for all its phenomenal computing power, runs on roughly 20 Watts of energy (less than a household light bulb), so it offers a natural model for engineers.

 

“The transistor we’ve demonstrated is really an analog to the synapse in our brains,” says co-lead author Jian Shi, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS. “Each time a neuron initiates an action and another neuron reacts, the synapse between them increases the strength of its connection. And the faster the neurons spike each time, the stronger the synaptic connection. Essentially, it memorizes the action between the neurons.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Pentagon to deploy huge blimps over DC for 320-mile 360-degree surveillance

Pentagon to deploy huge blimps over DC for 320-mile 360-degree surveillance | Drone | Scoop.it
A set of high-tech Army blimps are heading to the Washington, DC area, and soon the blimps will be able to provide the military with surveillance that span hund (MT @PrayandLiveFree: #Pentagon to deploy huge blimps over DC for 320-mile 360-degree ...
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Misophonia and Sensory Processing Disorder

Misophonia and Sensory Processing Disorder | Drone | Scoop.it
Information regarding Misophonia a rare sound sensitivity disorder characterized by an extreme aversion to certain sounds.
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Mapping the Glum Inequality of Happiness in the World | TheAtlanticCities.com

Mapping the Glum Inequality of Happiness in the World | TheAtlanticCities.com | Drone | Scoop.it

Where are people all whistles and chuckles? Where are they the most miserable?

 

If you have a fatalistic view of life, the answer will utterly not surprise you. The planet's happiest denizens reside in wealthy countries, whereas the least joyful live in impoverished nations. People with mid-range levels of contentment seem to have crowded into Russia, for what it's worth.

 

The geographic inequality of personal satisfaction is evident in this new visualization from Jonathan Hull, a Salt Lake City-based designer whose own level of happiness remains relatively unchanged despite now knowing a big part of how happiness works.

 

Hull got the idea for this project after reading about Columbia University's inaugural World Happiness Report, commissioned by the United Nations Conference on Happiness. He used that study to build a color-coded Earth in which dark orange is supremely cheery and white is deeply dejected. Then he borrowed GDP info for various countries and made an accompanying map, where darker blues and purple are wealthier places. "Just a bit of 'Does money buy happiness?' kind of approach," he says.

 

So, does it? Compare for yourself. Here's world happiness:

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Government Announces Deployment of Orwellian “All Seeing Eye” Total Surveillance System over Washington

Government Announces Deployment of Orwellian “All Seeing Eye” Total Surveillance System over Washington | Drone | Scoop.it
Today news widely broke that the Army will be deploying blimps over Washington, DC for what it claims is a pilot program for its missile defense system.  The high tech blimps are sophisticated stat...
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FBI Admits to Flying Drones Over US Without Warrants

FBI Admits to Flying Drones Over US Without Warrants | Drone | Scoop.it
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says it has used drones for domestic surveillance purposes in the United States at least ten times without obtaining warrants. In three additional cases, d...
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