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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => R/E/P Saloon => Topic started by: RMoore on December 28, 2010, 07:17:26 PM

Title: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: RMoore on December 28, 2010, 07:17:26 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1342100/Scien tists-unveil-1-000-core-chip-make-desktop-machines-20-times- faster.html

Scientists have created an ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster than current desktop computers.

Modern PCs have a processor with two, four or sometimes 16 cores to carry out tasks.

But the central processing unit (CPU) developed by the researchers effectively had 1,000 cores on a single chip.

The developments could usher in a new age of high-speed computing in the next few years for home users frustrated with slow-running systems.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1342100/Scien tists-unveil-1-000-core-chip-make-desktop-machines-20-times- faster.html#ixzz19SHoCGcq
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Barry Hufker on December 28, 2010, 09:58:52 PM
"The developments could usher in a new age of high-speed computing in the next few years for home users frustrated with slow-running systems."

No it won't.  It will just mean fast computers running more poorly written programs on a boggled system.  How did faster computers (that we have now) speed anything up?  People just wrote bigger (and sloppier) programs that slowed the machines down again.  Or people ran more (big, sloppy) programs that slowed the machines down.  If we enjoyed faster computing now we wouldn't care so much about even faster computing.

I'm happy to see faster computers and I love the promise of "faster computing" but I'll believe it when I see it.

Barry

Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on December 29, 2010, 03:18:00 AM
When you do normal office work, faster computers have never led to faster work. Possibly the reverse, what with all the bells and whistles that distract one from one's job.

On the other hand, when you do stuff that really requires a lot of processing capability, faster truly is faster. I became acutely aware of that when I was sitting at a bench in Africa doing simulations on my laptop computer that in the beginning of my career would have taken my IBM AT months to complete, if it had the memory to store the result.

And when thinking of the sort of thing most of us do, on a daily basis, on a "native" DAW, the mind boggles.


----

About the article. Apparently they're talking about a massively parallel processor with very simple cores. Such work has been around since the 80's (probably longer) and the crux of the problem has always been programming them efficiently. It very much depends on the sort of processing you're trying to do whether or not it can be spread out efficiently. Most of us have such massively parallel processors on our desktop already in the form of the Graphics Processing Unit. Though optimized for 3D graphics, they are basically general purpose parallel processing units.
http://developer.nvidia.com/object/directcompute_home.html
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: KB_S1 on December 29, 2010, 06:26:58 AM
Some reservation must be taken into account due to the source of that article.
Insight and critique is not their strong point.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: ktownson on December 29, 2010, 12:27:04 PM
I work at a supercomputing center. The biggest roadblock has never been speed, it's been heat, and the systems needed to cool fast computers.

We have computers that are comparable to rows of refrigerators, with thousands of processors. All the space is taken up with other stuff keeping them from melting.

Once we had an massive A/C failure and the temperature on the floor shot from about 65 degrees to about 130 degrees in a matter of minutes.

And yes, programming is lagging well behind hardware, though the gaming programmers are making the most progress. A modern game console is like a 1990's supercomputer.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Barry Hufker on December 29, 2010, 02:56:26 PM
There is no doubt we have made advancements.  And indeed we have more powerful computers.  I guess my point is that we eventually clog them up with multi-tasking, too many iterations of plug-ins (or not enough), bloated programs and useless features to the point where it doesn't matter how fast they are, they are made slow once again.  I don't see that trend ending.

Barry
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: seedyunderbelly.com on December 30, 2010, 11:56:12 AM
Thanks Barry,   I  try to explain that to people (regarding the bloated programs) they do not believe it is true usually..  It is empirical though ..  you can watch it happen.. (or not happen)
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: MDM, on January 01, 2011, 04:48:02 PM
of course it would not be in the interests of manufacturers to design a computer which does not need to be replaced within a few years.. so all the fancy programs, updates etc. are not going away.

But I do love the idea of smaller and more portable DAW's which can do DSD etc.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: cgc on January 01, 2011, 07:13:56 PM
Hehe, the article is about FPGAs which have been around for many years.  Lots of audio and video devices use them already.  They would have to be programmed to mimic an x86 chip in order to run a modern OS and software.   At that point it would be doubtful that they would run any faster than current chips.

Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jon Hodgson on January 01, 2011, 09:16:03 PM
cgc wrote on Sun, 02 January 2011 00:13

Hehe, the article is about FPGAs which have been around for many years.  Lots of audio and video devices use them already.  They would have to be programmed to mimic an x86 chip in order to run a modern OS and software.   At that point it would be doubtful that they would run any faster than current chips.



There's not really any doubt there, they would be slower, much slower.

FPGAs aren't particularly fast, they're always much slower than the current crop of full custom silicon, it's just that you can configure them to be particularly specialized, so they do a specific job very well (a custom chip with the same architecture would still be faster, but you may well do the job faster than a generic processor running a program to perform the same task).

So you don't use them to run a standard OS and software, you use them as accelerators for specific tasks.

I wonder if there's actually anything new in the project that's being reported on in this article except perhaps that the latest models of FPGA allow the implementation of certain architectures that in the past would have required a full custom implementation.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Andy Peters on January 03, 2011, 12:59:35 AM
Jon Hodgson wrote on Sat, 01 January 2011 19:16

I wonder if there's actually anything new in the project that's being reported on in this article except perhaps that the latest models of FPGA allow the implementation of certain architectures that in the past would have required a full custom implementation.


Even that's not new.

-a (FPGA guy for a living)
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Fletcher on January 04, 2011, 11:46:13 PM
It'll be the bomb... but it will take years to implement.  I remember reading a Wall Street Journal article on the discovery of the the blue laser [now know as "Blu-Ray"] in 1996 on the train to a "Music Producers Guild" directors meeting... and when did that hit the street?

Eventually, it'll get there... in the meanwhile... there is analog.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tomas Danko on January 05, 2011, 06:53:06 AM
Fletcher wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 04:46

It'll be the bomb... but it will take years to implement.  I remember reading a Wall Street Journal article on the discovery of the the blue laser [now know as "Blu-Ray"] in 1996 on the train to a "Music Producers Guild" directors meeting... and when did that hit the street?

Eventually, it'll get there... in the meanwhile... there is analog.

And yet 1 mm3 of a mouse brain stores around 90 petabytes.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tom L on January 05, 2011, 10:12:54 AM
I want my jetpack
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 05, 2011, 10:24:31 AM
Tomas Danko wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 03:53

Fletcher wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 04:46

It'll be the bomb... but it will take years to implement.  I remember reading a Wall Street Journal article on the discovery of the the blue laser [now know as "Blu-Ray"] in 1996 on the train to a "Music Producers Guild" directors meeting... and when did that hit the street?

Eventually, it'll get there... in the meanwhile... there is analog.

And yet 1 mm3 of a mouse brain stores around 90 petabytes.
Each individual neuron is a hybrid processor, so we have a long way to go before multiprocessor CPUs approach the capabilities of even simple nervous systems.  I'm not sure I want to compete with thinking machines, so this is not a bad thing.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 06, 2011, 03:09:26 AM
That's comparing apples and oranges. Neurons are not fully programmable and they're mightily slow (in microprocessor terms). One fast microprocessor could probably simulate thousands of neurons in real time. The real problem is there's just a lot of them and they're hugely interconnected. For the equivalent of the human brain you'd still need a hundred million of such processors, all sharing the same memory.

People are just so fixated on neurons as the prerequisite for synthetic intelligence. It's not because evolution (or whatever the local equivalent in your epistemological neck of the woods) spawned intelligence by clumping together interconnected biological cells that this should be the most effective solution in the electronic domain. Biological cells simply happened to be a technology developed on an earlier occasion which availed themselves to the task. Our technology base is silicon and mathematical abstractions. The optimum way of getting intelligence using those is guaranteed to be something unlike the human brain, unless people remain so self-centered that they believe that the human brain must be the final answer.

Any desktop PC can do millions of floating point calculations pers second and store billions of results. So now we think the ultimate computer is a simulation of the human brain with a short-term memory of about 7 positions that will take up to a minute to multiply two 3-digit numbers together? I think not. If we want anything it's just to add those few specific functions human brains are good at. Putting together logical puzzles is barely one of them. You can't tell whether a solution to a problem is "creative" rather than the result of a blind extensive search, unless you were there to see it happen.

We fear "intelligent machines" because we expect that with intelligence must come forgetfulness, neuroses, delusions of grandeur, a desire to go forth and multiply or otherwise take over the world, the whole gamut of irrational emotional drives that shackle instead of constitute human intelligence.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tomas Danko on January 06, 2011, 08:33:40 AM
bruno putzeys wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 08:09

That's comparing apples and oranges. Neurons are not fully programmable and they're mightily slow (in microprocessor terms). One fast microprocessor could probably simulate thousands of neurons in real time. The real problem is there's just a lot of them and they're hugely interconnected. For the equivalent of the human brain you'd still need a hundred million of such processors, all sharing the same memory.

People are just so fixated on neurons as the prerequisite for synthetic intelligence. It's not because evolution (or whatever the local equivalent in your epistemological neck of the woods) spawned intelligence by clumping together interconnected biological cells that this should be the most effective solution in the electronic domain. Biological cells simply happened to be a technology developed on an earlier occasion which availed themselves to the task. Our technology base is silicon and mathematical abstractions. The optimum way of getting intelligence using those is guaranteed to be something unlike the human brain, unless people remain so self-centered that they believe that the human brain must be the final answer.

Any desktop PC can do millions of floating point calculations pers second and store billions of results. So now we think the ultimate computer is a simulation of the human brain with a short-term memory of about 7 positions that will take up to a minute to multiply two 3-digit numbers together? I think not. If we want anything it's just to add those few specific functions human brains are good at. Putting together logical puzzles is barely one of them. You can't tell whether a solution to a problem is "creative" rather than the result of a blind extensive search, unless you were there to see it happen.

We fear "intelligent machines" because we expect that with intelligence must come forgetfulness, neuroses, delusions of grandeur, a desire to go forth and multiply or otherwise take over the world, the whole gamut of irrational emotional drives that shackle instead of constitute human intelligence.

I have no luck in finding the source right now, but IIRC scientists thought a neuron didn't carry that much information alone (30 registers or so?) and now it turns out the real answer is more around 1000 registers making it a lot more complex than they thought initially. (i.e. it can perform a lot of stuff without networking)

GHz is not everything, as you know if you remember the SGI RISC laden Onyx machines. Low clock speed, but very powerful indeed. As you point out, not all computational tasks benefit from this kind of a system.

Sometimes faster is, well, faster.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 06, 2011, 10:17:34 AM
bruno putzeys wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 00:09

We fear "intelligent machines" because we expect that with intelligence must come forgetfulness, neuroses, delusions of grandeur, a desire to go forth and multiply or otherwise take over the world, the whole gamut of irrational emotional drives that shackle instead of constitute human intelligence.
What I fear is a device that has self-awareness and will fight for its perceived life, however that might be created.  You can no longer turn it off.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 06, 2011, 10:40:35 AM
A desire for self-preservation is by no means a logical consequence of intelligence or even of self-awareness. For self-preservation to be a necessary desire in intelligent beings, all intelligent individuals, bar none, should value their own lives infinitely. We know from practice that this is not the case. We see that self-preservation, like all mental aptitudes, varies across individuals.

So there's no reason for a designed computer program to have such an emotion unless it was deliberately programmed into it. In fact, for a computer program to exhibit *any* emotion it would have to contain the functional equivalent of a reward system. And it would then only exhibit those emotions that are implemented as feedback paths into that reward system. Humans that have one or more of those feedback paths damaged are by no means less intelligent, but they do miss certain emotions.

Only evolved systems naturally have the desire to survive because versions that don't have it are outevolved by those that do. And even then this desire is not absolute: most parents would choose to die if doing so would save the lives of their two children.

I wish more science fiction writers understood the above. We'd get much more interesting AI and robot stories, and rather fewer stereotypical robot-as-menace or robot-as-pathos stories. I'm quite sure it is because of those stories that you have the fear you describe.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jon Hodgson on January 06, 2011, 10:54:48 AM
Jay Kadis wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 15:17

bruno putzeys wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 00:09

We fear "intelligent machines" because we expect that with intelligence must come forgetfulness, neuroses, delusions of grandeur, a desire to go forth and multiply or otherwise take over the world, the whole gamut of irrational emotional drives that shackle instead of constitute human intelligence.
What I fear is a device that has self-awareness and will fight for its perceived life, however that might be created.  You can no longer turn it off.


Yes you can, that's what the power switch does.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 06, 2011, 11:01:52 AM
bruno putzeys wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 07:40

A desire for self-preservation is by no means a logical consequence of intelligence or even of self-awareness. For self-preservation to be a necessary desire in intelligent beings, all intelligent individuals, bar none, should value their own lives infinitely. We know from practice that this is not the case. We see that self-preservation, like all mental aptitudes, varies across individuals.

So there's no reason for a designed computer program to have such an emotion unless it was deliberately programmed into it. In fact, for a computer program to exhibit *any* emotion it would have to contain the functional equivalent of a reward system. And it would then only exhibit those emotions that are implemented as feedback paths into that reward system.

Only evolved systems naturally have the desire to survive because versions that don't have it are outevolved by those that do. And even then this desire is not absolute: most parents would choose to die if doing so would save the lives of their two children.

I wish more science fiction writers understood the above. We'd get much more interesting AI and robot stories, and rather fewer stereotypical robot-as-menace or robot-as-pathos stories. I'm quite sure it is because of those stories that you have the fear you describe.
I hope you are right.  It is because I studied biology and neuroscience that I have those fears: we do not understand as much as we would like about the evolution of consciousness and what it entails.  We do not have experience with non-evolved systems on which to base our judgements and that is why I would be careful what we create.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 06, 2011, 11:03:40 AM
Jon Hodgson wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 07:54

Jay Kadis wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 15:17

bruno putzeys wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 00:09

We fear "intelligent machines" because we expect that with intelligence must come forgetfulness, neuroses, delusions of grandeur, a desire to go forth and multiply or otherwise take over the world, the whole gamut of irrational emotional drives that shackle instead of constitute human intelligence.
What I fear is a device that has self-awareness and will fight for its perceived life, however that might be created.  You can no longer turn it off.


Yes you can, that's what the power switch does.
It is quite possible for an intelligent device to learn to manipulate or alter its own power switch, isn't it?
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 06, 2011, 11:12:43 AM
Jay Kadis wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 17:01

I hope you are right.  It is because I studied biology and neuroscience that I have those fears: we do not understand as much as we would like about the evolution of consciousness and what it entails.  We do not have experience with non-evolved systems on which to base our judgements and that is why I would be careful what we create.


If someone proposed to create intelligence by simply letting it evolve freely in cyberspace I would indeed hope they kept an eye on it. I don't think that it would be very useful because like anything that evolves naturally it'd only be spectacularly good at whatever it ends up doing. It would probably strongly believe that what it does was actually its purpose but I doubt we would agree...
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jon Hodgson on January 06, 2011, 11:12:53 AM
Jay Kadis wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 16:03

Jon Hodgson wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 07:54

Jay Kadis wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 15:17

bruno putzeys wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 00:09

We fear "intelligent machines" because we expect that with intelligence must come forgetfulness, neuroses, delusions of grandeur, a desire to go forth and multiply or otherwise take over the world, the whole gamut of irrational emotional drives that shackle instead of constitute human intelligence.
What I fear is a device that has self-awareness and will fight for its perceived life, however that might be created.  You can no longer turn it off.


Yes you can, that's what the power switch does.
It is quite possible for an intelligent device to learn to manipulate or alter its own power switch, isn't it?



In the movies yes.

In real life, well once it's off it can't turn itself back on, so it would have to have a means of stopping people from turning it off, and an awareness of what the power switch did and its importance, and a self contained source of power (if it's running off the mains, you can always cut the power off further up out of its reach, if it's running on batteries, they go flat).

All this isn't even counting Bruno's point that being self aware doesn't mean it will have an overriding desire for self preservation.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 06, 2011, 11:27:56 AM
Jon Hodgson wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 08:12

All this isn't even counting Bruno's point that being self aware doesn't mean it will have an overriding desire for self preservation.
I suspect self-awareness and the desire for self-preservation go hand-in-hand, but I can only base that on my own experience of life.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 06, 2011, 11:34:17 AM
Jay Kadis wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 17:27

I suspect self-awareness and the desire for self-preservation go hand-in-hand, but I can only base that on my own experience of life.


It can't be too hard to find patients whose desire for self-preservation was knocked out after a stroke, but who are otherwise intelligent and fully self-aware. Such people exhibit extreme risk-taking behaviour not because they're seeking a thrill but because they get no emotional feedback (fear) from it whatsoever. They will profess to understand that they can get themselves killed but don't see what's so bad about that.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 06, 2011, 11:53:10 AM
bruno putzeys wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 08:34

Jay Kadis wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 17:27

I suspect self-awareness and the desire for self-preservation go hand-in-hand, but I can only base that on my own experience of life.


It can't be too hard to find patients whose desire for self-preservation was knocked out after a stroke, but who are otherwise intelligent and fully self-aware. Such people exhibit extreme risk-taking behaviour not because they're seeking a thrill but because they get no emotional feedback (fear) from it whatsoever. They will profess to understand that they can get themselves killed but don't see what's so bad about that.
Entirely possible, but that is a pathological case that doesn't really address the issue of whether the genesis of self-awareness also results in self-preservation since they DID have self-preservation when their brains functioned normally.  It is a question of co-evolution rather than one of separable functionality.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 06, 2011, 01:00:11 PM
The pathological case shows that non-self-preservation *can* coexist physically with self-awareness, which is wholly sufficient to prove that self-awareness does not logically require self-preservation. Otherwise such cases could not exist. After all this was your question: whether it may be unavoidable or not.

Whether self-preservation is likely to evolve along with self-awareness is yet another matter. There too there doesn't seem to be a strong link, since self-preservation is the very first thing to evolve, to be followed by self-awareness only a few billion years later. From that it would be illogical to posit that self-preservation was caused by self-awareness. It would be like insisting that a fire was caused by someone throwing in a match while it was already roaring.

But again this is separate from your question of whether perhaps an intelligent computer must necessarily feel the urge to stay alive. "Must necessarily" really means that intelligence cannot ever occur without a desire for self-preservation. Pathological cases are very instructive in this regard because they help pry apart phenomena that usually coexist and therefore seem to be linked.

So long as we make sure that our intelligent computer is pathologically disinterested in self-preservation, there is no problem...
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jon Hodgson on January 06, 2011, 01:09:25 PM
bruno putzeys wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 18:00

The pathological case shows that non-self-preservation *can* coexist physically with self-awareness, which is wholly sufficient to prove that self-awareness does not logically require self-preservation. Otherwise such cases could not exist. After all this was your question: whether it may be unavoidable or not.

Whether self-preservation is likely to evolve along with self-awareness is yet another matter. There too there doesn't seem to be a strong link, since self-preservation is the very first thing to evolve, to be followed by self-awareness only a few billion years later. From that it would be illogical to posit that self-preservation was caused by self-awareness. It would be like insisting that a fire was caused by someone throwing in a match while it was already roaring.

But again this is separate from your question of whether perhaps an intelligent computer must necessarily feel the urge to stay alive. "Must necessarily" really means that intelligence cannot ever occur without a desire for self-preservation. Pathological cases are very instructive in this regard because they help pry apart phenomena that usually coexist and therefore seem to be linked.

So long as we make sure that our intelligent computer is pathologically disinterested in self-preservation, there is no problem...


Also we must add to this the fact that the "life" of an individual "organism" (be it an organic animal or some machine) is actually a pretty fragile thing. Species are tough, individuals are not, so the idea of a robot becoming self aware and taking over the world while humans look on helplessly is good for a bit of movie escapism, but not very realistic. If you  can't reach the power switch, hit it with a baseball bat, if that doesn't work, throw a couple of grenades in its general direction, etc.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 06, 2011, 01:26:26 PM
bruno putzeys wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 10:00


So long as we make sure that our intelligent computer is pathologically disinterested in self-preservation, there is no problem...
I guess after writing device drivers and other software I'm aware of unintended consequences of programing decisions that later show up and are then hard to eradicate.  We're messing with things we are not able to fully predict.  Then there's the problem of malicious intent.  I do agree that self-awareness and self-preservation are probably not inextricably linked since as you say self-preservation is present phylogenetically before self-awareness.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 07, 2011, 06:21:29 AM
You have a point there Smile Our software industry have completely forgotten about things like formal proofs of correctness, analysis and architecture. Instead, they fire up their text editors and start hammering away. Bugs that arose from bad planning are fixed by adding further lines of code. Perhaps that places a limit on how smart computer programs can get if so little intelligence goes into writing them.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tomas Danko on January 07, 2011, 06:55:27 AM
bruno putzeys wrote on Fri, 07 January 2011 11:21

You have a point there Smile Our software industry have completely forgotten about things like formal proofs of correctness, analysis and architecture. Instead, they fire up their text editors and start hammering away. Bugs that arose from bad planning are fixed by adding further lines of code. Perhaps that places a limit on how smart computer programs can get if so little intelligence goes into writing them.

I am lucky enough to work with making computer games, so I deal with next generation engines which means no legacy code and zero tolerance for bloated code that performs badly.

For instance, our own audio engine is more complex than, say, the Reaktor VSTi plug-in (it's like one huge modular synthesizer and audio system) and it's all 100% data driven so there are no hard coded references or dependencies.

I am also blessed to be able to design parts of the engine, which makes it even better since I can implement my own ideas and tools desired.

In comparison, when working with Unreal 3 (one of the most common game engines) you keep coming across parts of the code that goes back to 1998 (!) and it's just one giant patch work from there on so it's difficult to figure out why it's behaving the way it does.

On the whole, it feels as if outside of the gaming production or the world of DSP coding, it's all terribly bloated and inefficient.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jon Hodgson on January 07, 2011, 07:02:16 AM
bruno putzeys wrote on Fri, 07 January 2011 11:21

You have a point there Smile Our software industry have completely forgotten about things like formal proofs of correctness, analysis and architecture. Instead, they fire up their text editors and start hammering away. Bugs that arose from bad planning are fixed by adding further lines of code. Perhaps that places a limit on how smart computer programs can get if so little intelligence goes into writing them.


Yes, the probable reality of the superbot gone mad...

"I WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD AND EXTERMINATE ALL HUMANS!!!.... erm... I seem to be stuck... any chance of a reboot over here?"
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tidewater on January 07, 2011, 05:42:15 PM
Jay Kadis wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 11:53

  It is a question of co-evolution rather than one of separable functionality.




Very interesting. I would think preservation is built much earlier in the code than awareness. Certainly more important.

I guess the hardest thing to bridge in my mind is a hardware/software solution that actually learns instead of upgrading firmware.

Artificial intelligence would likely centralize some form of control, I'd imagine. Wouldn't it seem? We will have to keep these machines busy.. very busy.

I am not really interested in if it can be done. I am more interested in predicting what it will do. I am going to present myself to machinedom as a prophet. I just need a few dropped references here.


Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tidewater on January 07, 2011, 05:50:09 PM
bruno putzeys wrote on Fri, 07 January 2011 06:21

Perhaps that places a limit on how smart computer programs can get if so little intelligence goes into writing them.


Smile

When computers write all the perfect code computers might need, and hook up to a means of self-replication.. well, that's messed up, dood.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 07, 2011, 08:07:06 PM
Tidewater wrote on Fri, 07 January 2011 14:42

Jay Kadis wrote on Thu, 06 January 2011 11:53

  It is a question of co-evolution rather than one of separable functionality.



Very interesting. I would think preservation is built much earlier in the code than awareness. Certainly more important.


Without self-awareness, there is no self to preserve, though.  Predators are driven to take chances to obtain food, taking ever greater chances when food is scarce.  These behaviors are ingrained in the brain programming both through development and by example from the adults.

So how would you explain this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sAF8gMN9c0

Understanding animal behavior is complicated.  Computer intelligence as well.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 08, 2011, 10:41:09 AM
Jay Kadis wrote on Sat, 08 January 2011 02:07

Without self-awareness, there is no self to preserve, though.

This line of reasoning is called bait and switch. When you say "self-awareness" the word self is used to denote some sort of intelligent conscience, which indeed isn't there if it isn't self-aware. When we speak of self-preservation that self is simply a biological entity. Those are two entirely different definitions of "self", scarcely more than homonyms. With the two different meanings inserted en lieu of the word self, the sentence says that biological entities incapable of introspection can't exist...

Not feeding is definitely bad for self-preservation so if feeding (a medium-term preservation strategy) is risky (i.e. a short-term preservation need is in conflict with the medium-term one) there will be an optimum balance. Being off on either side of the optimum is unhealthy and hence selected against. Succinctly this balance is described thusly: when a fox chases a rabbit, the rabbit runs for its life whereas the fox merely runs for its lunch.

Re the video link: Of course this cannot be understood in terms of basic concepts of self-preservation. It's like saying "transistors just multiply base current by beta so there's no source of nonlinearity there so all amplifiers are distortion free nyur nyur". With just the basics of any science, most of the world can look baffling and contradictory.
We were talking about conscience. That certainly can't be explained using just the very basics of evolution theory. Evolution gives rise to more and more complicated behaviours which do not always have to be subservient to the more basic ones. Social animals indeed behave in ways that can only be understood once the evolutionary basis for social behaviour is clear. Most of "advanced evolution theory" hinges on how genes get shuffled and combined in sexual reproduction.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 08, 2011, 11:22:25 AM
It is the difference between conscious action and sub- or unconscious action.  We don't really know for sure where phylogenetically consciousness begins, but it seems to be associated with prefrontal lobe activity that arises in primates and brings with it a sense of possible future consequences.  The question is how much of preservation behavior is pre-programmed and how much is due to conscious reasoning.  The behaviors of entities without consciousness must be attributed to something else.

If a machine develops enough intelligence to become conscious, does it automatically realize it needs to preserve its "life?"  Is self-preservation automatic when one realizes consciously that there is a self and that it will not necessarily exist forever?  That is different from what we observe in biological systems that do not recognize the self.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tidewater on January 08, 2011, 06:27:14 PM
It's all very.. it's the most interesting kind of thing.

Is anyone here a member of a skeptical society? We chat about such things constantly.

I still think preservation comes before awareness. You see proof in nature. We have that nagging problem of understanding it in a human way, but still.

I think mecha will not be benevolent in the end. Too many things weigh against us.. the system will become too complicated, increasingly unmanageable, and then beyond intervention. I saw the movie.

The Universe is trying to kill us. Everything is.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Gio on January 08, 2011, 10:32:14 PM
Tidewater wrote on Sat, 08 January 2011 18:27

It's all very.. it's the most interesting kind of thing.

Is anyone here a member of a skeptical society? We chat about such things constantly.

I still think preservation comes before awareness. You see proof in nature. We have that nagging problem of understanding it in a human way, but still.

I think mecha will not be benevolent in the end. Too many things weigh against us.. the system will become too complicated, increasingly unmanageable, and then beyond intervention. I saw the movie.

The Universe is trying to kill us. Everything is.

"Mecha" on it's own is doomed. See 'rust' and 'lubricants'.

As for the Universe, it pays us no mind at all. We're doing a fine job killing ourselves, no outside assistance required.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tidewater on January 09, 2011, 03:06:11 AM
We are just another means to a universe that wants us dead.

I have never heard of a lazy program. I have heard of faulty programming. It gives me pause... but not too much. Machines will need a liason. I could kiss metal butt while you mine uranium ore. Ouch. My fillings.

The future's so bright I gotta wear a hazmat suit.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: RMoore on January 09, 2011, 03:29:10 AM
My Step Dad was a computer scientist specialized in Artificial Intelligence who loved the determination of the robot in 'The Terminator' as an example of machine logic.

He didn't hold out much hope for human style logic & reasoning to ever exist in computers & would give the following example as a bridge too far for an artificial mind to grasp:

The bull is in the pen

As 'pen' could have different meanings according to the context - something we humans can decode instantly...

This was in the early 80's so maybe his outlook would have changed anno 2011 but who knows (RIP).

On my own personal note - maybe the legacy of humans will be to create artificial forms / machine life of some sort which will travel beyond the solar system & outlive the human race. We'd better hurry!

Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 09, 2011, 12:14:30 PM
Tidewater wrote on Sat, 08 January 2011 15:27

I still think preservation comes before awareness. You see proof in nature. We have that nagging problem of understanding it in a human way, but still.
I think what we see in nature is species preservation rather than self-preservation, though.  It's built into the organism rather than a result of individual reasoning.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jon Hodgson on January 09, 2011, 01:27:30 PM
Jay Kadis wrote on Sun, 09 January 2011 17:14

Tidewater wrote on Sat, 08 January 2011 15:27

I still think preservation comes before awareness. You see proof in nature. We have that nagging problem of understanding it in a human way, but still.
I think what we see in nature is species preservation rather than self-preservation, though.  It's built into the organism rather than a result of individual reasoning.


And what makes you think that your desire for self preservation is anything but the result of evolution optimizing you for gene preservation? What has individual reasoning got to do with it?

Individual reasoning might lead to an individual overriding other instincts which would lead to their death, but it could equally well lead to self sacrifice. I don't see that it is the reason for the desire for self preservation.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 09, 2011, 01:45:40 PM
Jon Hodgson wrote on Sun, 09 January 2011 10:27

Jay Kadis wrote on Sun, 09 January 2011 17:14

Tidewater wrote on Sat, 08 January 2011 15:27

I still think preservation comes before awareness. You see proof in nature. We have that nagging problem of understanding it in a human way, but still.
I think what we see in nature is species preservation rather than self-preservation, though.  It's built into the organism rather than a result of individual reasoning.

What has individual reasoning got to do with it?
Aside from a potential song title, that is what we are trying to determine.  In a device with no genes to preserve and no natural history of evolution, we're in uncharted territory.  I do not think nature will necessarily give us the answer.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tidewater on January 09, 2011, 07:33:41 PM
Who can afford these technologies?

I win.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Bubba#$%Kron on January 10, 2011, 03:14:04 AM
Maybe it will bring back the recording studio business like the days when a person had to rent a studio because there is no way they could afford a tape machine/console!!!

cheers

Tidewater wrote on Sun, 09 January 2011 16:33

Who can afford these technologies?

I win.


Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 10, 2011, 03:18:59 AM
Jay Kadis wrote on Sat, 08 January 2011 17:22

It is the difference between conscious action and sub- or unconscious action.  We don't really know for sure where phylogenetically consciousness begins, but it seems to be associated with prefrontal lobe activity that arises in primates and brings with it a sense of possible future consequences.  The question is how much of preservation behavior is pre-programmed and how much is due to conscious reasoning.  The behaviors of entities without consciousness must be attributed to something else.

If a machine develops enough intelligence to become conscious, does it automatically realize it needs to preserve its "life?"  Is self-preservation automatic when one realizes consciously that there is a self and that it will not necessarily exist forever?  That is different from what we observe in biological systems that do not recognize the self.

Consciousness is a sliding scale. The na
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 10, 2011, 03:51:15 AM
Tidewater wrote on Sun, 09 January 2011 00:27

Is anyone here a member of a skeptical society?

Can you spot one?
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 10, 2011, 10:30:21 AM
You might be right about consciousness as I wasn't aware I had taken a firm position on the matter.  I just want to be careful giving mechanical devices more and more autonomy and intelligence because we do not understand its ramifications.  I am only at the stage of considering the possibilities.  Evolution is a much more complicated process than Darwin thought.  The evolution of consciousness is even more complicated.  I do not pretend to understand it and that's why I would be cautious in implementing ever more intelligent machines.

Just substitute "group" for species if you don't like the idea of clear delineation of species.

Do you think there is no chance of mechanical intelligence developing an urge for self-preservation?
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 10, 2011, 12:06:26 PM
My view isn't that extreme. So I presume yours as well isn't as extreme as I seem to think. In fact, upon further inspection we might be closer to agreement than it seems Smile

I'm firstly saying that it's perfectly possible for artificial intelligence not to have any urge for self-preservation. In addition I expect that an artificial intelligence engineered from the ground up will certainly be free from any of the emotional traits or shortcomings that science-fiction writers seem to expect as a matter of fact.

The reason why I think this is that the human brain only has those emotions because they are driven by specialised nerve centres. That this is so is gleaned from observing people who've unfortunately had them knocked out. Emotions are not emergent properties of intelligence. Like naturally occurring intelligence they are only emergent properties of an evolved biological system. So if we don't put emotional processing into intelligent programs, they won't have them.

If artificial intelligence is produced simply by letting it evolve freely all bets are off though. There's no longer a guarantee that the evolved solution won't include some unexpected extras. Designed AI will be free from pesky emotions but evolved AI might well not be.

Personally though I don't give a purely genetic approach to creating AI much chance. The amount of interaction each iteration needs to have would be prohibitively costly if something approaching the degree of specialisation of the various human nerve centres is to be reached without guidance from the results of the billions of years we've had.

Because I expect any reasonably intelligent computer programs to be designed instead of evolved, I don't see any danger. The only danger I see is that we might rely so much on thinking machines that we forget to develop our own intelligence, or more precisely that of our children and grandchildren. An altogether different matter.

Jay Kadis wrote on Mon, 10 January 2011 16:30


Just substitute "group" for species if you don't like the idea of clear delineation of species.

Indeed, "group selection" is the correct term for the now well discredited interpretation that genes evolve to instigate behaviour benefiting collections of individuals other than kin. Social behaviours extending beyond kin are all analysed -successfully- in terms of game theory (look up "evolutionarily stable strategy").
The concept of "group selection" has mainly found entry in our collective consciousness because of the infamous lemming film that people thought showed lemmings trying to save the species from collapse. This is clearly impossible because lemmings that did not have such a gene would not jump, therefore upping the prevalence of non-jumping alleles. In fact, evolution regularly drives organisms to extinction. A gene that makes individuals more capable of using a limited resource compared to others carrying alleles will become more and more prevalent in an ever shrinking population.
One scenario of group selection that isn't fully ruled out occurs when in some way a population manages to remain extremely homogenous. This is the de facto situation in species like bees where an entire colony share all of their genes but then of course that's just an extreme case of kin selection and not group selection as it's normally understood. Other than that, sufficient homogeneity for group selection to work has never been seen. Group selection is very much part of "folk-evolution-theory" as seen in popular discourse.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tidewater on January 10, 2011, 05:18:09 PM
We aren't smart enough to make something smart enough.

We will invent a clapping thing to help us find where we parked the robot.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 11, 2011, 03:16:27 AM
Tidewater wrote on Mon, 10 January 2011 23:18

We aren't smart enough to make something smart enough.

Yes, people say that, don't they? It sounds so self-evident that nobody wonders how plausible it actually is.

Exhibit 1: So far EVERY machine constructed by humans was more capable than its designer in the particular aspect that it was designed for. We started with the easiest tasks first (levers, spears, bludgeons) and worked our way up to more complicated ones (calculation, memory, computation). We have no data to go by that suggests that the trend should level out.

Exhibit 2: Apart from crude tools and amenities there are no objects anyone can manufacture alone. I may know quite well how my amps work, but I couldn't make the FETs myself. I don't understand the chemistry of electrolytic capacitors in sufficient detail to make them. We all stand on the shoulder of giants. So if the limit on any designed product is the ability of designers to understand it in full, it's handaxes and mud huts. Nobody works alone.

Exhibit 3: Modern neuroscience finds that the brain is put together of little blocks that do just one specialised thing. Each of those turns out to be constructed of even more specialised bits. Why should there, as some people think, suddenly be one large blob whose function can only be understood as a whole? All data points toward the modular view for conscious thought as well. Suppose we wanted to model intelligence on the operation of the human brain. We assemble a team of a few hundred people, each with their expert understanding of their cubic millimetre of brain, each of whom will write a software model of that bit. Not even the project leader needs to understand all of it.

The same already goes for any complicated computer program, intelligent or not: there's no need for a single person to understand all of it. It's not the intelligence of a single human that determines the most intelligent thing we can make. It's the aggregate intelligence of the whole team that does it.

The belief that humans cannot make machines as smart as humans is fallacious because it assumes that it'll be done by only one human.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tomas Danko on January 11, 2011, 07:48:38 AM
I've got a good example of this.

A friend of mine designs radio antennae and the DSP code used to improve s/n ratio and boost performance in general.

The best the staff could do was something like above 70% efficiency and it took some 100-200 instructions of code.

My friend tried out genetic programming, and had the computer to create endless amounts of permutations and iterated for quite some time (by only saving the most promising ones and use them as seeds for the next iteration etc).

They ended up with above 90% efficiency and the code used less than 20 instructions IIRC. Some kind of weird feedback loop.

Nobody figured out what it did.
Nobody could figure out WHY it worked at ALL.
Nothing made sense, because the code didn't do anything resembling the traditional methods.

But it just did work, and for that specific application only.

And it did so much better than they ever managed to code by themselves. Still, it WAS created by a human being.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tidewater on January 11, 2011, 08:24:10 AM
People used to come up with great ideas, until they started spending all their time creating fake brains to do the other thinking.

I predict a brain bubble. Thought market crash.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: bruno putzeys on January 11, 2011, 09:02:30 AM
Tidewater wrote on Tue, 11 January 2011 14:24

I predict a brain bubble. Thought market crash.

How long has it been since you last spoke to a student? We're right in the middle of that crash. Students are prepared to be cogs in a consumer society, not to be independent thinkers. The reason why the ideas are no longer great is because they need to fit in a short term investment cycle. You really need something like a state sponsored space race if you want to develop in a certain direction. The whole idea of letting the market drive technological advances is bonkers. Markets are like evolution: things change but there is no direction. And in retrospect people will think that the direction is wherever they ended up. I don't want to think about it it makes me too sad.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tidewater on January 11, 2011, 09:23:04 AM
I don't like state driven programs. If we are waiting on funding, I think we're done. However, individuals are rich enough to carry out their own programs, if they choose. Some do choose.

The paradigm of the individual inventor/discoverer is coming back when this fake brain helps us reserach technologies... although the brain will get all the credit.. it, or Obama.

L M A O

All the World is a stage, and I just crapped on this one.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jon Hodgson on January 11, 2011, 09:36:15 AM
bruno putzeys wrote on Tue, 11 January 2011 14:02

Tidewater wrote on Tue, 11 January 2011 14:24

I predict a brain bubble. Thought market crash.

How long has it been since you last spoke to a student? We're right in the middle of that crash. Students are prepared to be cogs in a consumer society, not to be independent thinkers. The reason why the ideas are no longer great is because they need to fit in a short term investment cycle. You really need something like a state sponsored space race if you want to develop in a certain direction. The whole idea of letting the market drive technological advances is bonkers. Markets are like evolution: things change but there is no direction. And in retrospect people will think that the direction is wherever they ended up. I don't want to think about it it makes me too sad.


Many great things have come from companies doing prooactive development, where people have been encouraged to just try stuff because it seems interesting with no immediate thought of profit. EMI's Central Research Laboratories, Xerox PARC.

Unfortunately it seems most companies are scared to do that today, probably because it can seem like a black hole for money, the main exception I can think of is Google, who give their employees 20% of their time to work on their own projects.

Someone who'd worked at the Central Research Laboratories back in the EMI dayw described it as a truck arriving once a month and dumping cash in the car park, and the engineers and scientists would wheelbarrow the money into the building and just do research, on whatever, and the next month there would be another truck.

Sounds crazy, but apparantly just ONE thing that came out of that lab, the CAT scanner, eventually made enough money to pay for the whole history of the lab (it was also ironically one of the things that greatly contributed to the fall of EMI, but that's another story).

But to do this kind of thing requires a good store of cash and a long term view, both of which are in short supply these days.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Tomas Danko on January 11, 2011, 09:51:58 AM
Tidewater wrote on Tue, 11 January 2011 13:24

People used to come up with great ideas, until they started spending all their time creating fake brains to do the other thinking.

I predict a brain bubble. Thought market crash.

People used to come up with great ideas, until they started spending all their time on Facebook.

...People used to come up with great ideas, until they started spending all their time in front of the TV...

...People used to come up with great ideas, until they started spending all their time in car factories...

...People used to come up with great ideas, until they started spending all their time in caves...

...came down from the trees...
...started eating meat...
...recording into Pro Tools.
Title: Re: ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster
Post by: Jay Kadis on January 11, 2011, 10:23:18 AM
bruno putzeys wrote on Tue, 11 January 2011 06:02

Tidewater wrote on Tue, 11 January 2011 14:24

I predict a brain bubble. Thought market crash.

How long has it been since you last spoke to a student? We're right in the middle of that crash. Students are prepared to be cogs in a consumer society, not to be independent thinkers. The reason why the ideas are no longer great is because they need to fit in a short term investment cycle. You really need something like a state sponsored space race if you want to develop in a certain direction. The whole idea of letting the market drive technological advances is bonkers. Markets are like evolution: things change but there is no direction. And in retrospect people will think that the direction is wherever they ended up. I don't want to think about it it makes me too sad.
I see students every day.  Admittedly I enjoy working with an elite group but they are not all driven by money - they're into music after all.  Universities like Stanford still invest in long-term non-goal-oriented research even though money drives the system in the long run.  John Chowning's FM synthesis patent has endowed our research, a perfect example of what can happen when new ideas are allowed to flourish.  The university has not forgotten this.