East-West Paths to Unconventional Computing
Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 2017
This is possibly the strangest paper I have been involved with; it certainly has the most authors!
The abstract says:
Unconventional computing is about breaking boundaries in thinking, acting and computing. Typical topics of this non-typical field include, but are not limited to physics of computation, non-classical logics, new complexity measures, novel hardware, mechanical, chemical and quantum computing. Unconventional computing encourages a new style of thinking while practical applications are obtained from uncovering and exploiting principles and mechanisms of information processing in and functional properties of, physical, chemical and living systems; in particular, efficient algorithms are developed, (almost) optimal architectures are designed and working prototypes of future computing devices are manufactured. This article includes idiosyncratic accounts of ‘unconventional computing’ scientists reflecting on their personal experiences, what attracted them to the field, their inspirations and discoveries.Surprisingly, perhaps, one of the keywords is “spirituality”. Now, I agree that Unconventional computing encourages a new style of thinking, but this would be thinking of computation as a physical rather than a mathematical process (in my opinion), and nothing about “spirituality” (whatever that is).
But it was fun for me to write my bit, and to read my co-authors journeys. You can find a pre-production version, all 82pp of it, here.