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First Demonstration of Photonic Intelligence

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Researchers at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology in Japan have developed a photon gun and a single photon detector that uses the laws of physics to make decisions, instead of complex algorithms. The researchers say the device could lead to a kind of photonic intelligence that helps make complex decisions.

The researchers' photon gun fires photons through a polarizing filter, which can be adjusted to polarize the photons horizontally or vertically. However, when the filter is set at 45 degrees, each photon has an equal chance of being horizontally or vertically polarized. The decision-making process comes by creating a feedback loop, which changes the orientation of the filter after each round of photons is fired through it.

The researchers say this setup is revolutionary because it requires no standard computing, no simulation of the system, and no number crunching of probabilities. Instead, the laws of physics make the decision via a simple feedback mechanism. "We experimentally demonstrate accurate and adaptive decision-making," the researchers say.

From Technology Review
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