Haven’t we all felt the urge to throw our laptop against the wall when the screen goes blank at 3 am, and totally wipes hours of hard work?
To prevent those frustrating computer crashes, scientists at University College London (UCL) have created a self-healing computer. The “systemic” machine, according to a report in the New Scientist, can instantly recover corrupted data.
The systemic computer prevents an impending crash by quickly repairing corrupted data and carrying out several tasks simultaneously. Let’s say you give the computer something to do. It divides the result into several copies or “systems,” which are executed all at once so if one system crashes, the computer can simply access another system to carry out your command. Ordinary computers, however, carry out results by going through the process in a linear fashion. It doesn’t create several copies of the result like the systemic computer does, so if it can’t access a part of its memory that it needs to execute a task, it crashes.
“Even when it feels like your computer is running all your software at the same time, it is just pretending to do that, flicking its attention very quickly between each program,” Peter Bentley, a computer scientist at UCL, said in an interview with the New Scientist.
Bentley and Sakellariou are working on giving the computer the ability to rewrite its own code as a response to environmental factors. In the future, this super-smart computer could be used for scientific research and mission-critical machines, like drones that can reprogram themselves as a response to damage, or even on remote search-and-rescue robots that can make adjustments based on its environment.