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Boeing's New Business Targets Computers Modeled on Human Brains

  • Operation will seek breakthroughs in artificial intelligence
  • Advances could manage millions of drones, according to CTO
FARNBOROUGH 2008

Photographer:  Graham Barclay/Bloomberg

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Boeing Co. is creating a new unit to focus on technology that’s seemingly straight out of science fiction, including super-fast computing that mimics the synapses of the human brain and hack-proof communications links based on applied quantum physics.

So-called neuromorphic processing and quantum communications, two of the futuristic technologies Boeing wants to explore, may seem an odd fit for the world’s largest planemaker. But such concepts increasingly form the core of aerospace innovation, like the networks that may one day manage millions of airborne drones, said Greg Hyslop, Boeing’s chief technology officer.