Researchers have shown how to maintain a network nanowires in a state right at the edge of chaos. This could be used to create artificial intelligence (AI), which acts like the human brain.

On a simulation of a nanowire, the team experimented with different levels of electricity to find a balance between too much and too little. The outputs of the network were not useful if it was too low. If it was too high, they were useless.

“We discovered that the network does the same thing over again if it is pushed too slow without learning or developing. Joel Hochstetter, a physicist at the University of Sydney and lead author of the study, says that if we push it too hard or fast the network becomes unpredictable and erratic.

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The scientists report that simulations were kept close to the middle of these extremes, which produced optimal results. These findings suggest that nanowire networks could eventually produce brain-like dynamics.

Conceptual image showing randomly connected switches. (Alon Loeffler).

Zdenka Kuncic, a physicist at the University of Sydney in Australia, says that “some theories in neuroscience suggest that the human mind might operate at the edge of chaos or what is known as the critical state.” “Some neuroscientists believe it is in this state that we achieve maximum brain performance.”