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Saturday, August 22, 2015

More Signs of The Singularity!

h/t--Jim Fehlinger; via Extreme Tech (heh):
Last year, HP announced it was building The Machine -- a computer meant to leap as far above conventional modern systems as a high-end Xeon workstation is above an IBM mainframe from the 1960s. The entire system was designed to work with special-purpose cores and to use memristors as a universal memory architecture. The entire system would be tied together through extensive use of silicon photonics. It was bold, ambitious, and cutting-edge. And now, it’s pretty much dead... Instead of a special-purpose OS (dubbed Linux++ last year and meant to help mimic memristor and photonic design of the platform in software), it’ll simply run a version of Linux. The problem, apparently, was memristors, which HP hasn’t found a way to produce in commercial volume or at a reasonable price.
Given the hard work the futurologists did coming up with all those spiffy neologisms, I daresay The Machine may still find its way to credulous consumers and eventual profitability in the late-nite technommercial arena. The way, after all, has been paved already:


jimf said...


And notice, among the "We Recommend" links:

"By 2020 You Could Have an Exascale Speed of Light Optical Computer on Your Desk"
( ).

Yeah. By 2020, all sorts of things could have happened, most of them bad. :-/ .

jimf said...

Oh dear. I hadn't heard about the "collapse" and banishment
to Coventry.

Singularity 1on1: Ramez Naam on Apex, Science, Politics and Ethics
Nikola Danaylov
Published on Jul 3, 2015


I'm hoping to do a follow-up interview with at least with Dr. [Miguel] Nicolelis
and hopefully with Dr. Ronald Cicurel too where I can press them at little bit
more than I managed to do the first time. I also met Ted Berger at GF2045,
so I'm hoping to get him on my interview too.

But one of the examples that they were giving also was the collapse
of the Human Brain Project in Europe, and the fact that Dr. Henry Markram
has been removed; they said the[re's a] geologist who is now running the project.
There was a letter signed by 600 scientists, many of them neuroscientists,
against the blueprint or the outline or the goals of the project, and
in fact it's been scaled down tremendously. And they said, actually
Miguel Nicolelis said it has been scaled down at "warp speed", at
which point I asked him "Can you say it's collapsed?" and he said


Yeah. So. I'm of. . . A) The collapse of the Human Brain Project, or
the redefinition of it, says nothing about what is theoretically
possible. I'm torn on that. Henry Markram was saying that in
10 years we could have a working simulation of the human brain.
And that was, in my view, incredibly overoptimistic. That was not
even close to plausible. OK? And yet I thought that the project
would be very interesting -- that it would fail to achieve its goal,
but that it might teach us a whole lot in its failure. Now those
neuroscientists that signed that letter are people who depend upon
grant funding for their research. This not an assault on them.
Would it make more sense to spend that billion euros for five years on
grants for neuroscience projects that actually could produce a
working output today, or something that was almost certain to fail
but could teach us something in that failure. I cannot blame them
for saying this is a colossal waste of money. Now, if you talk about
the same thing 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or 70 or a hundred years from
now, that's different. But when we talk about "human uploading", that's
not the right first step. The right first step is nematode uploading.
The nematode has 905 synapses in its entire body. . .


That's one of the examples they give in their book. . .

And this reminds me of all the skeptics I've had on specifically the
Human Brain Project on my show -- luminaries such as Noam Chomsky,
Marvin Minsky, Gary Marcus, Stuart Hameroff, and a bunch of others.
And they're all coming from different points of view, but they're
all highly skeptical of the Human Brain Project.


Yeah, well, it makes sense. . .