March 1, 2011 Leave a comment
It’s inspirational to remember that Turing’s machine was first described narratively (well, at least in long hand rather than code or equations). See this SEP article for background
I think often about new data models for uncertain, overlapping, indeterminate, and heterogeneous data (approaching ‘thought;) and think it’s quite likely that they will require a very un-Turing like computational system. The temptation is to say that Turing was digital, so the future will be analog. and there are promising affordances of analog computing. but I think we’re closer to the money in exploring biomemetic (particularly, neuromimetic) computation.
One thing I might like to do as my Master’s Paper would be to advance the neuromimetic counterpart to Turing’s vision. I don’t know if I’ll be ready at that time but I’d like my work in this class to be preparatory for that.
A pretty sweet quote”
“It is proposed to build “delay line” units consisting of mercury … tubes about 5′ long and 1″ in diameter in contact with a quartz crystal at each end. The velocity of sound in … mercury … is such that the delay will be 1.024 ms. The information to be stored may be considered to be a sequence of 1024 ‘digits’ (0 or 1) … These digits will be represented by a corresponding sequence of pulses. The digit 0 … will be represented by the absence of a pulse at the appropriate time, the digit 1 … by its presence. This series of pulses is impressed on the end of the line by one piezo-crystal, it is transmitted down the line in the form of supersonic waves, and is reconverted into a varying voltage by the crystal at the far end. This voltage is amplified sufficiently to give an output of the order of 10 volts peak to peak and is used to gate a standard pulse generated by the clock. This pulse may be again fed into the line by means of the transmitting crystal, or we may feed in some altogether different signal. We also have the possibility of leading the gated pulse to some other part of the calculator, if we have need of that information at the time. Making use of the information does not of course preclude keeping it also. (Turing , p. 375)”