Scientists have found that getting an answer that isn’t necessarily right but is close enough is much faster than getting a correct answer. They have now designed a micro-chip around this principle and are seeing significant performance gains on certain applications where mathmatical accuracy isn’t as important. I think the government figured out years ago that it was cheaper to hire people who are bad at math, so the government might be a good place to look for applications. Maybe we could use these chips to predict the weather, it couldn’t be much worse than existing predictions. Or maybe the various governments (Greece comes to mind) could use it balance the budget.
Get the full story here: http://news.rice.edu/2012/05/17/computing-experts-unveil-superefficient-inexact-chip/