MIT Center for Bits and Atoms

Mr. FoRK fork_list at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 23 23:50:03 PDT 2003


Some excerpts:
"Classically, CBA researchers have shown that the continuous degrees of
freedom of analog circuits can be used to realize optimal digital functions
with savings of orders of magnitude in speed, power, or parts [4,5]. And
we've used the exponentially-greater number of degrees of freedom in
quantum-mechanical systems to factor [2] and search [3] in fewer steps than
are required classically. The latter experiments computed by programming the
dynamics of nuclear spins in molecules rather than by attempting to
fabricate nanostructures that reach atomic scales; the recognition that
natural systems can compute not only points to the prospect of synthesizing
rather than expensively manufacturing computing devices, it hints at the
power of a computational language in explaining the behavior of physical
systems."

"One of the greatest challenges for CBA will be to design not systems but
the principles by which enormously complex systems can come to function
without actually specifying how they do it. This will entail bringing the
rigor with which parameters such as bandwidth, power, and noise are now
optimized to attributes such as hierarchy, emergence, and adaptation. An
early example is "paintable" computing [8], which replaces large chips wired
onto circuit boards with many small chips randomly distributed in a bulk
medium so that information processing can be poured out by the pound or
painted onto a wall. "

"The Personal Computer has been the embodiment of the Digital Revolution.
Mainframes were expensive machines, used for industrial operations with
limited markets by skilled operators working in specialized spaces. When the
packaging of computation made it accessible to ordinary people, the
inventiveness and common sense of ordinary people could then tailor it to
personally-meaningful applications, and the result was the explosive spread
of information technology. Compare this history to the present state of
machine tools, which are expensive machines, used for industrial operations
with limited markets by skilled operators working in specialized spaces. If
success can be declared in the Digital Revolution and the coming story is
going to be how those newly-freed bits connect to the rest of the world,
then with the benefit of hindsight the embodiment of this new revolution
will be Personal Fabricators"



----- Original Message -----
From: "Mr. FoRK" <fork_list at hotmail.com>
To: <fork at xent.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 10:13 PM
Subject: Re: MIT Center for Bits and Atoms


> Here we go...
> http://cba.mit.edu/docs/02.06.exec/
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mr. FoRK" <fork_list at hotmail.com>
> To: <fork at xent.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 10:08 PM
> Subject: MIT Center for Bits and Atoms
>
>
> > (possibly old bits, but very cool for me)
> >
> > I just attended a presentation by Neil Gershenfeld who is Director of
the
> > MIT Center for Bits and Atoms - a very mind expanding talk.
> > http://cba.mit.edu
> > http://web.media.mit.edu/~neilg/
> >
> > I'm looking for some content to attach, but in lieu of that, I'll write
> down
> > what I remember.
> > (here a smaller presentation similar to the one I saw...)
> > http://cba.mit.edu/docs/02.07.CBA/02.07.CBA_files/frame.htm
> >
> > He mentioned 'Internet 0' - which was a counter to 'Internet 2' goal of
> > more-faster internet. 'Internet 0' is a distributed data, algorithm,
> routing
> > thing... slower but fully ad-hoc. With a protocol stack that cuts out
the
> > message passing between layers & just does it direct (shrinking code
size
> > down to micro-embeddable size).
> > http://cba.mit.edu/events/02.07.IP/agenda.html
> >
> >
> > Some provocative statements:
> >  Digital logic was a bad idea
> >  Bugs will have programs
> >  Engineers will not design complex systems
> >  The future of personal computation is personal fabrication
> >  The most advanced technologies are needed in the least-developed places
> >
> > My remembrences:
> > Digital logic was a bad idea
> >  - they did some 'atomic computing' using atoms & bonds of a molecule as
> > logic gates. The molecule has resonance and energy states - use that as
a
> > 'machine' and program state changes via rf signals. Not quite
> retrogressing
> > to analog circuits - there are 'probability circuits' that carry
> probabilty
> > along. Don't digitize information early & process in the digital domain,
> > keep it as 'probabilities' during computation & then digitize on output
> > (like for sound transforms).
> >
> > Bugs will have programs
> > Natural phenomena (like energy states of a molecule, shapes of
molecules)
> > don't exactly model a particular problem - but so what, use it anyway.
> >
> > Engineers will not design complex systems
> > Things are getting too complex - system will evolve. You can build a
> perfect
> > system from imperfect parts if you build in self-correction along the
way.
> >
> > The future of personal computation is personal fabrication
> > The 'bit revolution' has been won - no need to keep having it. Move on
to
> > the boundary between bits and atoms. Just like mainframes in the early
> days
> > of IBM had high maintenence & limited market, machine tools today have
the
> > same. We need a revolution in fabrication.
> >
> > The most advanced technologies are needed in the least-developed places.
> > There is a lot of need for one-off technical solutions to real world
> > problems in areas without the supply chain or profitibility of mass
> produced
> > solutions.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
>


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