Schizophrenic Computer Points to New Theory of Disease

Software pays undue attention. Does a diseased mind do the same?

3 min read

6 June 2011—We know what schizophrenia looks like in humans. We think we know what schizophrenia looks like in mice. Now we may know what it looks like in a computer.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have modeled the disease in a program called DISCERN in an attempt to prove a long-standing theory of how schizophrenia works. But what they came away with was a completely new clinical hypothesis.

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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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