Sunday, November 01, 2009

Neal Gershenfeld: Programming Bits and Atoms

I followed a pointer from the Long Now Blog to The Perimeter Institute's Quantum to Cosmos Festival, and found some interesting talks. I enjoyed listening to Lee Smolin talking to Neal Stephenson and Jaron Lanier about how science informs and learns from fiction. But I had a much stronger reaction to Neil Gershenfeld's talk on what he's been doing at the Center for Bits and Atoms. It involves multi-scale parallel computronium, and fabricators in the hands of kids all over the world who are vaulting past us in understanding what it means to build stuff with embedded intelligence. A fascinating talk.