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As artificial intelligence has attracted broad interest, researchers are focused on understanding how the brain accomplishes cognition so they can construct artificial systems with general intelligence comparable to humans' intelligence.

Many have approached this challenge by using conventional silicon microelectronics in conjunction with . However, the fabrication of silicon chips with electronic and photonic circuit elements is difficult for many physical and practical reasons related to the materials used for the components.

In Applied Physics Letters, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology propose an approach to large-scale that focuses on integrating photonic components with superconducting electronics rather than semiconducting electronics.

"We argue that by operating at and using superconducting , single-photon detectors, and silicon light sources, we will open a path toward rich computational functionality and scalable fabrication," said author Jeffrey Shainline.

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