Re: Moravec's estimates?

From: Jimmy Wales (
Date: Sat Apr 07 2001 - 20:46:51 MDT

James Higgins wrote:
> I, too, find it difficult to believe that a game console will leapfrog
> super-computers and be the first to reach 1TF.

I don't think that's what is being claimed. We are already at
12 teraflops with the fastest supercomputers, and there is every
indication that we'll be at 1000 teraflops by 2005.

In Moravec's terminology (MIPS), that is that we are at
12 million MIPS now, and will be at 1 billion MIPS less than
5 years. (A billion million is 1000 trillion.)

Now, if Moravec is right and the raw power of the human brain is
100 million MIPS, then we're getting really close, at least as far
as really expensive supercomputers go.

On the other hand, if Kurzweil is right and the raw power of the human
brain is 20 billion MIPs, then we've got a lot further to go -- 10-15
years extra, we might suppose.

I didn't mean to get a conversation started about Moore's Law.
(And the version of Moore's Law that I'm interested in here is
just $$$ per MIPS, which is a very crude measure of anything, I'm

I wanted to see if anyone knows of any good reasons to say that
one or the other of them is closer to right.

OR, maybe Penrose is right, and there are quantum aspects to human
cognition, so we need quantum computers to even come close to the
performance. But I don't know of any solid biological or philosophical
reason to think Penrose is right.

But, I'm no expert.

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