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The Erasable Holographic Display

New three-dimensional holographic material can be written and rewritten indefinitely, paving the way toward 3-D movies

4 min read

19 February 2008—The iconic image of three-dimensional holography—Princess Leia inserting Death Star blueprints into R2-D2 and intoning, ”Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope”—may be just a few years away from reality, says a researcher who has developed a method to write, erase, and rewrite holographic images.

Holographic motion, as featured in Star Wars, has long been confined to the realm of science fiction. But now, according to Nasser Peyghambarian, a professor of optical sciences at the University of Arizona, ”we can see we are pretty close to that.”

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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
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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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