David D Nolte

Mind at light speed

At first glance I took this book to be a fairly shallow look at the gee-whiz technologies that might come about in the future. When I got down to reading it I was pleasantly surprised. The author has a deep knowledge of the subjects he tackles, whether it's Einstein's 1905 papers or the collapse of behaviourist psychology. But the book doesn't need specialist knowledge on the part of the reader; I would say that if you have a basic knowledge of computers then you will have no problems with this book. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a peek at the possibilities for the future of computers.

The book starts by looking at three phases of the development of optical technology - optoelectronics, all-optical devices and quantum optics - and considers the performance gains at each stage. Now optical computation is an obvious choice for image processing, and Nolte examines how this compares with the way our brains process visual information and then goes on to look at how such processors might be able to deal with language. This leads on to the possibilities of artificial intelligence based on optical processing. The last two chapters look at quantum technology comes into the picture, with its potential for cryptography and teleportation.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 320 pages  
ISBN: 0743205014
Salesrank: 2447630
Weight:1.12 lbs
Published: 2001 Free Press
Amazon price $7.15
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 256 pages  
ISBN: 0743205014
Salesrank: 1789638
Weight:1.12 lbs
Published: 2002 Simon & Schuster International
Marketplace:New from £17.84:Used from £0.15
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 320 pages  
ISBN: 0743205014
Salesrank: 2707473
Weight:1.12 lbs
Published: 2001 Free Press
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 7.04:Used from CDN$ 0.60
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Product Description
In this fascinating book David Nolte explains the technology behind the bandwidth revolution and reveals the future of artificial intelligence. From a leading computer scientist and physicist comes proof that the days of computing with clunky electrons (particles of matter) are just about over, and that the use of photons (particles of light) will change the nature of computing and intelligence, artificial or otherwise, forever. Next generation computers won't just read, they will see, and they will do so faster than we can imagine. Exploring the startling possibilities this would allow, Nolte explains the Intelligent Internet (the net won't just be a database, it will make decisions); light computers (how fibre optics, which speed up the flow of information between computers, will speed up the flow inside them); and hologram hard drives (capable of accessing everything at once). Roger Penrose's The Emperor's New Mind argued that we couldn't understand human consciousness because of the difficulty of engineering - and understanding - at the quantum level. A truly revolutionary work, Machines of Light showed that not only is quantum light technology possible but that its applications will take our understanding of what intelligence actually is to the next level. But the implications of the technology described in this book are more than philosophical. The implications of this revolution for business in our new economy and for satisfaction in our daily lives are simply staggering.