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Traditional computational methods are highly structured and linear, properties which they drive from the digital nature of computers. These methods are highly effective at solving certain classes of problems: physics simulations, mathematical models, or the analysis of proteins. Classical computational methods are not effective at solving other problems, such as pattern recognition, adaptive learning, and spam filtering. Some biological systems, however, excel at the latter class of problems. For example, the human mind can quickly identify a face, even if it has changed heavily from the last time it was seen, while traditional computational systems are unable to accomplish facial recognition efficiently and accurately even if minor facial or environmental alterations occur.
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