What Are the Limits of Computing?
What constraints govern the physical process of computing? Is a minimum amount of energy required per logic step? There seems to be no minimum, but some other questions are open.
What's the Latest Development?
A computation, whether it is performed by electronic machinery or an abacus or in the brain, is a physical process. It is therefore subject to physical laws, but what are the physical limits of computation? And what do quantum computations imply? "Even in quantum mechanics extremely fast events can take place without any loss of energy. Our confidence that quantum mechanics allows computing without any minimum expenditure is bolstered when we remember that Benioff and others have developed models of reversible quantum-mechanical computers, which dissipate no energy and obey the laws of quantum mechanics."
What's the Big Idea?
What did computational theory look like in 1985? Many old questions are still perplexing computer scientists today: "How much energy must be expended to perform a particular computation? How long must it take? How large must the computing device be? In other words, what are the physical limits of the process of computation? So far it has been easier to ask these questions than to answer them. To the extent that we have found limits, they are terribly far away from the real limits of modern technology. ... We are looking for general laws that must govern all information processing, no matter how it is accomplished."
To create wiser adults, add empathy to the school curriculum.
- Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
- Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
- Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now
To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.
The future of education and work will rely on teaching students deeper problem-solving skills.
- Asking kids 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' is a question that used to make sense, says Jaime Casap. But it not longer does; the nature of automation and artificial intelligence means future jobs are likely to shift and reform many times over.
- Instead, educators should foster a culture of problem solving. Ask children: What problem do you want to solve? And what talents or passions do you have that can be the avenues by which you solve it?
- "[T]he future of education starts on Monday and then Tuesday and then Wednesday and it's constant and consistent and it's always growing, always improving, and if we create that culture I think that would bring us a long way," Casap says.
As a doctor, I am reminded every day of the fragility of the human body, how closely mortality lurks just around the corner.