Saturday, March 21, 2015

A glimmer of intelligence

No, I am not talking about Artificial Intelligence, I mean Andrew Ng as reported here.
Finally, a sane comment as opposed to the loonies worried about comic-book robot nasties taking over.
Maybe, just maybe Stehpen Hawking is good at theoretical mathematics relating to black holes, (those thing that cannot be easily detected because there isn't much there to detect ). . . . but he does seem to have overstated the problem of malignant AI  - but then if you have read any of my previous posts you will know that I can't see any "machine intelligence" appearing soon. [ No, although I am sorely tempted I won't make a snide remark about human intelligence here. ]

All you need to do is look beyond the hype about how fantastically powerful the next generation of computers will be (and it's always "the next generation") and look at the real progress being made and you will see that it is slowing down as we hit some serious barriers, and these are not financial, they are physical barriers to more miniaturisation. Of course, there are still plenty of new or different techniques to try but this means more time, more research and no guarantess that any of those options will pay off.  We have already done most of the cheaper, easier things to squeeze more transistors onto a chip and now each step is harder, more expensive and gaining less.
Once they started talking about "Cloud" computing I suspected that Personal Computers were hitting some sort of limit anyway.

Actually I'm kind of glad since my current PC cost me a heap and if it didn't last a few years more I would be very annoyed.

 Note the button that says "Space Phone". This is a very old remote, not sure what the space phone was.

Here is ashot of new Apple Laptop's innards: the small square top centre is all the mobo there is:
They sure skooshed all the working bits down -hey wait: that looks about the same size as a phone. . .

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