It might seem like an idea out of science fiction, but the possibility of using potentially any material as a computer could soon become a reality.
These alternative materials could be even better for developing artificial intelligence than existing computers.
Some believe such AI could eventually have human-like intelligence and reasoning.
Experts Mark Douthwaite, a PhD Candidate in High Integrity Systems Engineering, and Matt Dale, a PhD Student in Non-Standard Computation, both from the University of York, explain how this works in an article for The Conversation.
The latest chip in the iPhone 7 has 3.3 billion transistors packed into a piece of silicon around the size of a small coin.
But the trend for smaller, increasingly powerful computers could be coming to an end.
Silicon-based chips are rapidly reaching a point at which the laws of physics prevent them being any smaller.
There are also some important limitations to what silicon-based devices can do that mean there is a strong argument for looking at other ways to power computers.
Perhaps the most well-known alternative researchers are looking at is quantum computers, which manipulate the properties of the chips in a different way to traditional digital machines.
But there is also the possibility of using alternative materials – potentially any material or physical system – as computers to perform calculations, without the need to manipulate electrons like silicon chips do.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3838151/How-turn-object-computer-Radical-technique-lead-AI-human-like-intelligence.html#ixzz4N5ZOgDUk