Machine learning systems, which we frequently refer to as a form of artificial intelligence, at their heart are just a series of calculations made on a set of data. The calculations themselves aren’t particularly complex.
Researchers from UCLA show that those calculations can be implemented optically with 3D-printed layers of transparent material, imprinted with complex diffraction patterns that do to light going through them what the math would have done to numbers.
I have seen several optical signal processing tricks earlier – this is faciest I have heard of.
Researchers have written the paper describing their system, published in Science.