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Engineers Design Artificial Synapse For 'Brain-on-a-chip' Hardware

15 hours 11 minutes ago
Researchers in the emerging field of "neuromorphic computing" have attempted to design computer chips that work like the human brain. From a report: Instead of carrying out computations based on binary, on/off signaling, like digital chips do today, the elements of a "brain on a chip" would work in an analog fashion, exchanging a gradient of signals, or "weights," much like neurons that activate in various ways depending on the type and number of ions that flow across a synapse. In this way, small neuromorphic chips could, like the brain, efficiently process millions of streams of parallel computations that are currently only possible with large banks of supercomputers. But one significant hangup on the way to such portable artificial intelligence has been the neural synapse, which has been particularly tricky to reproduce in hardware. Now engineers at MIT have designed an artificial synapse in such a way that they can precisely control the strength of an electric current flowing across it, similar to the way ions flow between neurons. The team has built a small chip with artificial synapses, made from silicon germanium. In simulations, the researchers found that the chip and its synapses could be used to recognize samples of handwriting, with 95 percent accuracy. The design, published today in the journal Nature Materials, is a major step toward building portable, low-power neuromorphic chips for use in pattern recognition and other learning tasks.

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Mozilla Releases Security Updates

15 hours 12 minutes ago
Original release date: January 23, 2018

Mozilla has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in Firefox and Firefox ESR. A remote attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

NCCIC/US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the Mozilla Security Advisory for Firefox ESR 52.6 and Firefox 58 and apply the necessary updates.

This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


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This is why you shouldn't bite an iPhone battery

15 hours 21 minutes ago
We're nothing if not helpful here at Engadget and we're always looking out for your wellbeing. So today we have a little bit of advice for you: Don't bite your iPhone battery. One man found this out the hard way, Appleinsider reports, causing a minor...

The 'God of War' reboot comes to the PS4 on April 20th

15 hours 45 minutes ago
It's been nearly two years since Sony announced it would revitalize the God of War franchise, and now we finally know when Kratos' next adventure will arrive. The next game in the series, simply titled God of War, will be available on April 20th. To...

The Rise Of The Contract Workforce

15 hours 51 minutes ago
An anonymous reader shares a report: A new NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 jobs in America is held by a worker under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. Workers across all industries and at all professional levels will be touched by the movement toward independent work -- one without the constraints, or benefits, of full-time employment. Policymakers are just starting to talk about the implications. [...] It's not just business driving the trend. Surveys show a large majority of freelancers are free agents by choice. John Vensel is a contract attorney at Orrick who grew up a few miles from Wheeling, on the other side of the Pennsylvania state line. In his 20s, he was a freelance paralegal by day and a gig musician by night. "I actually wanted to be a rock star," he says. But these days there are no edgy vestiges of a former rocker, only a 47-year-old family man cooing over cellphone photos of his children, Grace and Gabe. In the two decades in between, Vensel worked full-time corporate jobs. But he was laid off in 2010, on the eve of his graduation from his night-school law program. He graduated with huge piles of debt, into one of the worst job markets. For a time, Vensel commuted three hours round-trip to a full-time job in Pittsburgh. But more recently, he quit and took up contracting to stay near home in Wheeling.

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