Deep Design for Optical Devices

Edwin Cartlidge

Neural networks can create blueprints for complex device designs that would be difficult if not impossible to generate with traditional techniques.

figureDavid Sell, a former student of Jonathan Fan, Stanford University, USA, at work in an experiment to characterize freeform surfaces similar to the ones the Fan group designs using deep learning. [L. Gan]

In today’s interconnected and data-rich world, there seem to be few areas of life where artificial intelligence (AI) is not making inroads. Enabled by ever more powerful computer hardware and ubiquitous digital information, deep learning—a technology modeled on the workings of the brain—is being exploited in everything from machine vision to natural-language processing and image recognition to game playing. All of these applications, and more, rest on spotting and generalizing patterns within vast data sets.

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