Sunday, December 20, 2015

Meta-Atoms and Light-Bits

120-cell_Carlos Sequin

This is about freezing light, mostly so it can be used as memory in photonic computing, which is one of the places we are going with the future of computing, that is, beyond circuits for electric information. The following two articles are just about the ubiquity of quantum mechanical manipulation in increasingly 'normal' circumstances.

[The Rise of Photonics]
Device can theoretically trap a light 'bit' for an infinite amount of time

To overcome light's penchant for escaping, Lannebère and Silveirinha utilized an idea proposed by John von Neumann and Eugene Wigner in 1929, and later extended by others, which has led to the discovery that transparent structures with tailored geometries can perfectly confine light by scattering it in a very specific way.

Lannebère and Silveirinha showed that this strategy for confining light can be achieved by shining light on a spherical "meta-atom," so-named because it allows light to have only a specific quantized energy value (creating a light "bit"), similar to how an atom allows electrons to occupy only certain quantized energy levels.

Quantum entanglement achieved at room temperature in semiconductor wafers, Nov 2015
[Room temperature, whatever.]

Physicists mimic quantum entanglement with laser pointer to double data speeds, Oct 2015
"While there's no 'spooky action at a distance,' it's amazing that quantum entanglement aspects can be mimicked by something that simple."

The Beginnings of the Mass Transference Device

AKA Metabots, Mindborgs, and Organic Computing


This now makes three-people babies the second scariest thing I've ever heard.

Wiring Monkey Brains Together Has a Point, Say Scientists
WIRED, July 2015

"Today, researchers at Duke University announced they have done nearly that, wiring animal brains together so they could collaborate on simple tasks. Network monkeys displayed motor skills, and networked rats performed computations.

"That’s right. They made a botnet out of brains."

"To build the monkey network, Nicolelis’ team first implanted electrodes in rhesus macaque brains, positioned to pick up signals from a few hundred neurons. Then they connected two or three of the macaques to a computer with a display showing a CG monkey arm. The monkeys were supposed to control the arm, directing it toward a target like a boat crew rows forward. When the monkeys got the arm to hit the target, the researchers rewarded them with juice. (“Each monkey had different juice preference,” says Nicolelis. “We had to do a preference test beforehand.”) To be clear, the monkeys don’t think “move my arm” and the arm moves—they learn what kind of thinking makes the arm move and keep doing that—because monkeys love juice.

"The rat study was even weirder. For this one, the neuroscientists directly wired four rats’ brains together—using the implants to both collect and transmit information about neural activity—so one rat that responded to touch, for example, could pass on their knowledge of that stimulus to another rat. Then the researchers set the rats to a bunch of different abstract tasks—guessing whether it might rain from temperature and air pressure data, for example, or telling the difference between different kinds of touch-stimuli. The brain collectives always did at least as well on those tests as an individual rat would have, and sometimes even better. And in a successful effort to squidge people out, the researchers called these rat-borg collectives “organic computers” or, even worse, “brainets.”"

Animal brains connected up to make mind-melded computer
New Scientist, July 2015

Building an organic computing device with multiple interconnected brains

Computing Arm Movements with a Monkey Brainet

Inherent Fallibility Algorithms and Autonomous Driving

This is a real car sold by hotwheels

Autonomous cars are not working because they follow the rules. All the time. They drive too slow, they don't roll through stop signs, and they aren't aggressive enough to fit the flow of regular human traffic. First of all, how can you legally design into the algos of the car to break the speed limit? But more importantly, and beyond the realm of car-driving, which is better - the perfect world of autonomous-everything, or the one where messy, impatient, fallible humans run the show?

Humans Are Slamming Into Driverless Cars and Exposing a Key Flaw
Bloomberg Business, Dec 2015

The Semibots Are Coming

astronaut painting by Jeremy Geddes 

Talk about artificial intelligence becoming sentient needs to be tempered by the grey-area of semi-autonomy, or the half-robot half-human, because that's where it's really at.

Some fembots are all-robot, but the ones that will really getcha are the ones that are real people working along with intelligent algorithms, and I like to call these semibots.

How Ashley Madison Hid Its Fembot Con From Users and Investigators
Gizmodo, Sep 215

Ashley Madison created tens of thousands of fembots to lure men into paying for credits on the “have an affair” site. When men signed up for a free account, they would immediately be shown profiles of what internal documents call “Angels,” or fake women whose details and photos had been batch-generated using specially designed software. To bring the fake women to life, the company’s developers also created software bots to animate these Angels, sending email and chat messages on their behalf.

To the Ashley Madison “guest,” or non-paying member, it would appear that he was being personally contacted by eager women. But if he wanted to read or respond to them, he would have to shell out for a package of Ashley Madison credits, which range in price from $60 to $290. Each subsequent message and chat cost the man credits. As documents from company e-mails now reveal, 80 percent of first purchases on Ashley Madison were a result of a man trying to contact a bot, or reading a message from one. The overwhelming majority of men on Ashley Madison were paying to chat with Angels like Sensuous Kitten, whose minds were made of software and whose promises were nothing more than hastily written outputs from algorithms.