Home Chapter 5 Technological Advances
Technological Advances


Some researchers are working on microchips that will be driven by object oriented languages instead of programming with lines of code and with these you will manipulate the controllers with on screen interfaces which permit you to realize complex behaviors, which do not require you to be an expert programmer.

Raw chips are part of a new kind of research which can reconfigure their connections so they are optimized to work their fastest for a particular application. In one test, the application results estimate that the program would run ten times faster on the raw chip. Still, these are in early developments. [12]

Other recent advances are new chips with multiple core processors, which split the processing into different segments of the microchip breaking the processing into smaller tasks though this can cause difficulties for programmers who must adapt their approaches to programming.

A group of scientists in Europe have created a silicon chip designed to mimic human brain function. This chip has 200,000 neurons which are linked by 50 million synaptic connections. The FACETS project is recreating the brain structure in computer form, with transistors to understand how massively parallel computers can recreate simulations of human brain activity. [14}.

Still it is difficult to imaging when a computer will ever exceed the human animal in spite of robotics replacing many human functions in factories or for telephone answering systems. When researchers calculate the number of transistors and compare that to the human brain they often fail to account for the human body as an exquisite acquisition tool with trillions upon trillions of neural cells. When robots have bodies that can sense and integrate knowledge about the world around us and not only be optimized for symbolic languages such as words or numbers we may have an emergent new species arising around us.

Conceptual readings:

The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of fact & fiction in the construction of a new science Jim Gimzewski and Victoria Vesna



[1] Ken Goldberg Artists Web Site: http://www.ieor.berkeley.edu/~goldberg/flw/print.html
[2] Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet
Publisher: Mit Editor Ken Goldberg
[3] Victoria Vesna, UCLA, and James Gimzewski Artists web site: http://vv.arts.ucla.edu/
[4] Art as a form of Life Scientific American, April 2001 by W. Wayt Gibbs
[5] George Gilder, Microcosm: The Quantum Revolution in Economics and Technology, Simon and Schuster, 1989 pg 18
[6] Practical Electronics for Inventors by Paul Scherz McGraw-Hill, 2000 pg 127
[7] ibid 128-129
[8] Horgan, John Scientific American “In the Beginning...”, report on attempts solve the mystery of life’s origin, 2/91, pp. 116-125.
[9] Joshua Davis The New Diamond Age, Wired Magazine. Issue 11.09 | September 2003
[10] Dana McCarthy Information Art: Diagramming Microchips
[11] ibid
[13] Gibb, Wayt , A Split at the Core, Scientific American pg 96
[14] Graham-Rowe, Duncan, Building a Brain on a Silicon Chip A chip developed by European scientists simulates the learning capabilities of the human brain., Wednesday, March 25, 2009 Technology Review MIT.http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22339/?a=f


Further research resources:

Questlink Chip center is a great place to research and find chip and data sheets. http://www.chipcenter.com/questlink/