1.Memistor, memristor and SyNAPSE
The first time I had the honour to participate in a similar inauguration was in1988 at the first annual meeting of the INNS (International Neural NetworksSociety) in Boston, organized by Harold Szu from DARPA.It was an enormously powerful event during an Indian Summer week,perfectly organized and for that reason didn’t offer much space for improvised critical and meta-theoretical reflections. As a contemplativecontrast I visited the Boston Computer Museum.I had the chance to talk to Harold Szu in Boston, and recieved a friendlyencouragement to continue with my work in Germany. But my approachwas obviously far too strange to be included into the powerful newmovement of neural network designs.Nevertheless I got some funding in Germany to continue my project of a
“Theory of Living Systems”
, at my former Institut für TheoretischeBiowissenschaften, within and beyond the neural network paradigm.Neither was Bernard Widrow given enough time at this mega-event to reportfrom his historical results from the time of the very first neuro-technological“boom” in the 60s, his invention of the “
resistor with memory
”.Sounds familiar? The movement was interested in the future only andmissed to learn from the past. Approaches like Second-Order Cyberneticsand autopoiesis had been totally unknown to the enthusiasts of the newneural network community, and Artificial Intelligence had just becomeobsolete (Minsky’s decree, the Mansfield Amendment (1969), AI-winter).The success of the new artificial neural networks, from neuro-cybernetics toneuroaesthetics, nevertheless, was and still is enormous and has changedour life radically
in peace and war.