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The Buzz: The Cutting Edge

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Faster computers come out all the time, but it’s what we do with a CPU that determines its true usefulness. On Good Math, Bad Math, Mark Chu-Carroll introduces us to Google’s new programming language, Go. Noting the minimalist design of the language, Chu-Carroll writes “if you want a C-like language with some basic object-oriented features and garbage collection, Go is about as simple as you could realistically hope to get.” On the hardware side of things, Jonah Lehrer reports on The Frontal Cortex that IBM researchers have simulated the synaptic equivalent of a cat’s brain, using 147,456 processors and 144 terabytes of memory. But does it want to lick itself? On Collective Imagination, Greg Laden waxes philosophical about artificial and natural intelligence; Google advises him that intelligence is “Bliss,” “A Curse,” “Sexy,” and/or “possible after all.” Also on Collective Imagination, Peter Tu talks about computer vision and facial recognition algorithms, and the uncanny feeling we get when our working models of the world break down.

Links below the fold.