Saturday, April 21, 2012

Memristors are coming.

And they are going to change everything.

Memristor minds: The future of artificial intelligence

What are memristors?  They are a new fundamental circuit element.  A fourth basic circuit element besides the standard trio of resistor, capacitor and inductor.

This is the device that connects charge to magnetic flux.  The new device would generate a voltage from a current rather like a resistor, but in a complex, dynamic way. It behaves like a resistor that "remembers" what current had flowed through it before.

Right now we store bits in huge networks of dozens of transistors per bit.  With this new circuit we can store a bit in a single element.  And this can be a fuzzy bit, it doesn't have to be on/off, it can be half on and half off.  It can be .8572345 on.   So it can store analog information just as easily as it can store digital info.

We have been unable to model AI circuits until now because we have lacked one of the basic 4 circuits we needed to do so. The synapses of the brain are analog memristor circuits.  Trying to model intelligence with boolean logic is like trying to build a 1:1 scale model of the Eiffel tower with lego bricks.

Researchers are still learning how to use these new circuits to build intelligent networks.  Just a few memristors was enough to model the behavior of single celled organisms.  In networks of millions there is hope they can model much more complex behaviors.  These networks of millions of memristors are not neural networks, they are far beyond the capability and speeds of neural networks even in the beginning phase of research.]

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