On Sat, Aug 24, 2013  Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:

> We are now approaching a point where we can have supercomputers with the
> same estimated computational power of a human brain, but we are very far
> from replicating its capabilities.


Very far?

>  Chess is a very narrow case
>

But being the best Jeopardy player in the world is far less narrow, and in
the current issue of New Scientist is a article about an AI program running
on a computer MUCH smaller than Tianhe-2 that scored what a typical 4 year
old child would on a verbal IQ test.


> > Also, Moore's law is bound to hit a physical limit. It cannot be that
> far now.


Fans of innate human superiority have been singing that same tired old song
for 40 years. Currently the smallest features on the very best computer
chips on the market are about 22 nanometers and the chips are primarily 2D.
There is no physical reason you couldn't make 3D logic elements with
features as big as medium sized molecules or about 1 nanometer, so per
volume you could pack 22^3 = 10,648 more logic elements than what is
currently the most complex and tightly packed object (the surface of a
microprocessor) humans have ever made. And because the elements are 22
times closer together they could transfer signals 22 times faster, so per
volume you could solve problems 22^4 = 234,256 times faster. And after that
is quantum computing.

There's more, a lot more. The fastest signals in the human brain move at a
couple of hundred meters a second, many are far slower, light moves at 300
million meters per second. So if you insist that the 2 most distant parts
of a brain communicate as fast as they do in a human brain (and it is not
immediately obvious why you should insist on such a thing) then parts in a
AI's brain could be at least one million times as distant. The volume of
such a brain would be a million trillion times larger than a human brain.
Even if 99.9% of that space were used just to deliver power and get rid of
waste heat you'd still have a THOUSAND TRILLION  times as much volume for
logic components as humans have room for inside their heads, and per volume
the components would be solving problems enormously faster than anything we
have today.

  John k Clark

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