April 17th, 2015 | Company News

Brain-like computing

Computers could soon function like a human brain. New research published in Advanced Optical Materials shows the possibility of optical computers with the ability to learn. The Photonics Institute (TPI) reproduced neural networks and synapses like those in the brain, using light-sensitive glass fibres. The team simulated neural resting state before mimicking the nerve firing and the changes in electrical activity as it was stimulated was demonstrated. In the optical version, the stimulus is light and the changing properties of the glass acts as varying electrical activity in the nerve cell. This enables switching of a light signal; equivalent to a nerve firing up. Software and electronic hardware can already mimic brain function but at an extremely low efficiency compared to the human brain. Further research will hopefully improve the speed and efficiency of this and the addition of learning being introduced. Full article: