Engineering

Hey, watch where you're flicking. That's a computer

Michigan Micro Mote (M3) is the world's smallest computer. How small? It's about the size of a grain of rice. A University of Michigan's March report can tell you that the team behind the computer have come up with a fully ...

Computer Sciences

Researchers design a type of Turing test for computer vision

A small team of researchers has developed a possible means for creating a Turing test for computer vision. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Donald Geman, Neil Hallonquist and Laurent ...

Robotics

New AI sees like a human, filling in the blanks

Computer scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have taught an artificial intelligence agent how to do something that usually only humans can do—take a few quick glimpses around and infer its whole environment, ...

Computer Sciences

Artificial intelligence blends algorithms and applications

Artificial intelligence is already a part of everyday life. It helps us answer questions like "Is this email spam?" It identifies friends in online photographs, selects news stories based on our politics and helps us deposit ...

Computer Sciences

A new approximate computing approach using CNNs

Researchers at Fukuoka University, in Japan, have recently proposed a design methodology for configurable approximate arithmetic circuits. As part of their study, published on ResearchGate, they applied their method to a ...

Computer Sciences

Transforming transportation with machine learning

You hear the buzzwords everywhere—machine learning, artificial intelligence—revolutionary new approaches to transform the way we interact with products, services, and information, from prescribing drugs to advertising ...

page 1 from 6

Computer

A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a set of instructions.

Although mechanical examples of computers have existed through much of recorded human history, the first electronic computers were developed in the mid-20th century (1940–1945). These were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PCs). Modern computers based on integrated circuits are millions to billions of times more capable than the early machines, and occupy a fraction of the space. Simple computers are small enough to fit into a wristwatch, and can be powered by a watch battery. Personal computers in their various forms are icons of the Information Age and are what most people think of as "computers". The embedded computers found in many devices from MP3 players to fighter aircraft and from toys to industrial robots are however the most numerous.

The ability to store and execute lists of instructions called programs makes computers extremely versatile, distinguishing them from calculators. The Church–Turing thesis is a mathematical statement of this versatility: any computer with a certain minimum capability is, in principle, capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer can perform. Therefore computers ranging from a mobile phone to a supercomputer are all able to perform the same computational tasks, given enough time and storage capacity.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA