New Scientist has recently published an article that discusses the memristor, the long theorized basic circuit element that can generate voltage from a current (like a resistor), but in a more complex, dynamic manner -- with the ability to "remember" previous currents. As we've seen, HP has already made progress developing hybrid memristor-transistor chips, but now the hubbub is the technology's applications for artificial intelligence. Apparently, synapses have complex electrical responses "maddeningly similar" to those of memristors, a realization that led Leon Chua (who first discovered the memristor in 1971) to say that synapses are memristors, "the missing circuit element I was looking for" was with us all along, it seems. And of course, it didn't take long for DARPA to jump into the fray, with our fave DoD outfit recently announcing its Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics Program (SyNAPSE -- cute, huh?) with the goal of developing "biological neural systems" that can "autonomously process information in complex environments by automatically learning relevant and probabilistically stable features and associations." In other words, they see this as a way to make their killer robots a helluva lot smarter -- and you know what that means, don't you?

Read - New Scientist: "Memristor minds: The future of artificial intelligence"
Read - DARPA: "Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics"

Mechanical cheetah comin' atcha!