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Declarations of Cyberwar

What the revelations about the U.S.-Israeli origin of Stuxnet mean for warfare

3 min read
Illustration: Brian Stauffer
Illustration: Brian Stauffer

Mouths went agape when New York Times reporter David Sanger wrote in June that anonymous sources within the United States government admitted that the United States and Israel were indeed the authors of the Stuxnet worm and related malware. Those two countries had long been suspected of creating the code that wrecked centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility. But never before had a government come so close to claiming responsibility for a cyberattack.


The origins of the most sophisticated cyberattacks ever undertaken may now be clear, but exactly where such attacks fit in the universe of war and foreign policy—and what the international community would consider a proper response to them—is still the subject of debate.


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The Future of Deep Learning Is Photonic

Computing with light could slash the energy needs of neural networks

10 min read

This computer rendering depicts the pattern on a photonic chip that the author and his colleagues have devised for performing neural-network calculations using light.

Alexander Sludds
DarkBlue1

Think of the many tasks to which computers are being applied that in the not-so-distant past required human intuition. Computers routinely identify objects in images, transcribe speech, translate between languages, diagnose medical conditions, play complex games, and drive cars.

The technique that has empowered these stunning developments is called deep learning, a term that refers to mathematical models known as artificial neural networks. Deep learning is a subfield of machine learning, a branch of computer science based on fitting complex models to data.

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