Monday, June 18, 2012

Singularity - how close we are?


Chart: Performance of the top three supercomputers on the TOP 500 list; data

Seems that the Moore's law still holds. At least some version of it and at least in the supercomputing domain.

According to the latest TOP 500 supercomputers list, the fastest of them - IBM BlueGene/Q Sequoia achieved 16.32 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark.

That's nearly exactly 100% more than the previous year's result for the most powerful super computer (8.16 petaflop/s) then.

Over the last 5 years, the performance of the super computers was growing on average 135% annually.

What's interesting, the speed of the currently fastest supercomputer on the TOP 500 list is for the first time greater than 10 petaflop/s believed to be the computation power of the human brain.

Combined with the recent developments in machine learning and unstructured problem analysis - as demonstrated by IBM Watson / DeepQ - these suggest that we may be a little bit closer to the technological singularity as envisioned by Vernor Vinge or Ray Kurzweil.

Still, some challenges with creating intelligent software remain unresolved.

However I wouldn't count too much on artificial intelligence closely resembling the human one. It is more probably that we will see some "alternative intelligence" that is able to process human knowledge but does not incorporate all the human traits.

BTW: Any chances some of these TOP 500 systems run distributed R code? ;)

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