University of Michigan engineers are developing a new type of electronic switch that mimics the behavior of a biological neuron in the human brain, which is able to perform complex tasks much more efficiently than regular computers. Like brains, these computers would be able to reach beyond their local neighborhood to establish connections, and grow stronger connections the more they are used.

The new computing architecture would allow computations to happen all over the design. These artificial synapses would be created through "memristors," built through nanotechnology, which can be used to connect a large number of processes, thereby creating a type of computer that can learn without being programmed.

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