A beginning is being made in understanding how these transformations take place in living material and the nature of the complex role played by living membranes.Perhaps some of the limitations of molecular complexity and fragility could be overcome in man-made artificial-energy machines and better results achieved than in natural membranes.Bionics, science of constructing artificial systems that have some of the characteristics of living systems.
Experimental versions of such a machine have been developed; they learn by establishing and modifying connections among a large number of possible alternative routes in a net of pathways.
This learning, however, is still rudimentary and far from human.information if the address—that is, the number of the pigeonhole—is known.
These exemplify the two main fields of bionics research—information processing and energy transformation and storage.
The general pattern of the information network of living organisms is the following: environmental sensations are received by the organs of sense and then coded into signals that are transmitted by nerves to the centres of processing and memorization of the brain.
In contrast, the human brain performs at low speed but in parallel rather than in sequence, producing several simultaneous results that can be compared (plants by means of complex chemical processes.
The energy of muscular motion is derived from chemical changes.
That difference is qualitative as well as quantitative.
Man-made memory devices are now constructed using associative principles, and there is a great potential in this field.
“Pattern recognition,” an important element in human action, has implications for bionics.
One way to design an artificial machine capable of pattern-recognition properties is to use learning processes.