Coming: Computers With 20 20 Eyesight

FOR HUMAN BEINGS, PATTERN recognition is as natural as finding a beer bottle at a crowded bar. But for computers trying to match up fingerprints or recognize a face, crunching all that visual data in zeros and ones is overwhelming. That's why scientists have been struggling for years to build optical computers that directly input--or "see"--whole images of light, instead of processing streams of electrons in sequence.

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