Successful demonstration of the transmission of the signal proved that the elements of such systems can be reduced to microscopic size and yet still remain functional. As pointed out by the portal Ars Technica, the merit of the IBM lies in the fact that their artificial neurons built on the basis of well-known materials. However, these materials can be reduced to nanometer level, without losing their properties and functionality.
Organic neurons are enclosed in membranes that act as a signal gate, taking a certain amount of energy to operate. In version IBM this role for germanium-Sulima-cells tellurium (GST), usually found in optical disks. If sufficiently heated from the GST changes physical phase. Amorphous insulator it goes into a crystalline phase conductor. In other words, the signal passes through the membrane only when it is fed enough electricity to move the GST to the crystalline phase, and then return to amorphous.
However, for the rank of full artificial neuron, they must possess another inherent characteristic of the organic analogue of the stochasticity or randomness of behavior when it receives a signal. IBM claims that their neurons they made, as GST-membrane never return to the same structural configuration. This feature allows you to perform those tasks that would not be possible if the results were perfectly predictable.
As suggested by the portal Ars Technica, in the future based on such artificial neurons, scientists can create computers, effectively simulating the parallel processing of information (as it makes our brain), and apply this principle to process sensory information. However, as noted, the creation of such machines will be much more simple task than writing them under the corresponding software.
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