The July 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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An emergency Fire engine responds to an emergency with in London, England.
Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Large, costly government IT project failures often create an immediate sensation in the media, but they quickly fall out of public notice as soon another failure grabs attention. However, in many cases, the failure’s after-effects linger for years afterward; but these are little reported. Below are five such IT project failures that have happened in the past decade, and a quick synopsis of how the ramifications of each are still being felt today.

UK FiReControl Project

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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
Image of a computer rendering.

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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