It seems that you don’t need a computer to create artificial intelligence. The truth is, you don’t even need electricity.
In an extraordinary bit of left-field analysis, scientists from the University of Wisconsin–Madison have discovered a way to create artificially intelligent glass that may recognize photographs without any need for sensors, circuits, or even a power supply — and it might one day save your phone’s battery life.
“We’re always thinking about how we offer a vision for machines in the future, and imagining application-specific, mission-driven technologies,” researcher, Zongfu Yu stated in a press launch. “This changes everything about how we design machine vision.”
In proof-of-concept research printed on Monday within the journal, the researchers describe how they made a sheet of “smart” glass that would identify handwritten digits.
To accomplish that feat, they began by placing different shapes and sizes of air bubbles at specific spots inside the glass. Then they added bits of strategically located light-absorbing supplies, together with graphene.
When the team then wrote down a quantity, the light reflecting off the digit would enter one side of the glass. The bubbles and impurities particle would scatter the lightwaves in specific ways relying on the quantity until they reached one of ten designated spots each corresponding to a different digit on the other side of the glass.
The glass may primarily tell the researcher what number it saw — on the speed of light and without the need for any computing power source.
“We are accustomed to digital computing. However, this has broadened our view,” Yu stated. “The wave dynamics of light propagation present a new way to perform analog artificial neural computing.”