“Researchers have built nanowire synapses that consume just 1.23 femtojoules of power — for reference, a real neuron uses 10 femtojoules.”
While synapses by themselves are not nearly as complicated as whole neurons.
What this means for science fiction, is that it is now very realistic to include robot persona who have the same or more intellectual capacity as a homo-sapien, within the same space and energy requirements. For instance a robot in the shape of a human which uses around 100watts of power — similar to that of a human.
To make this a reality, the article also says the fruition of this technology will require “new 3D printing techniques to create structures that more closely imitate real brains”.
What that means is that a world where there are such human-level robots walking around, would also be a world where it is possible to 3D print brains on demand, for a variety of tasks and purposes.
Slightly diverging, robot “parents” could assemble their children out of parts,. simlar to the 2005 movie Robots. However since parts including the brain can be 3d printed, it gives more control to parents in what they will consist of, or how they will be composed.
Robots or “electronic persons”, may also choose to make extra plug-in brains for themselves, to help them in doing particular tasks more effectively.
Original article about brain-like computers here: