Re: Hardware Progress: $272/GFlop/s

From: jg nlb (
Date: Tue Aug 27 2002 - 03:10:01 MDT

>From: Dani Eder <>
>Subject: Re: Hardware Progress: $272/GFlop/s
>Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 18:49:48 -0700 (PDT)
>I track $/Gflop because it directly relates to the
>primary subject of this list - the development of
>computer-based AI as a path to the Singularity.

I tend to think it is correct to evaluate things that way.
Although so far there is no clear arithmetical link between processor speed
and AI "efficiency".

>The other variable I am starting to track -
>manufacturing productivity - relates to another path
>to the Singualrity. Labor input per unit of
>factory production seems to be on a near-linear
>downward trend. At the projected zero point (~2025
>you would have fully automated factories capable
>of producing anything with no human labor, including
>copies of themselves.

So it goes from a power of two increase for processor performance. (i'm
really rusty in math : doubling in speed every year or so, is it exponential
growth ?)
to linear increase for factory production.

Also i was thinking of things like phone bills, how come they don't drop by
half every year or so ? (for internet it could be true).

>Coupled with the trend in computer power, it leads
>to a vastly different world than the one we live in
>Variables like speed of genome sequencing are a
>consequence of computers and automated equipment,
>not an independant variable. Progress in biology
>will not change the world in the next 25 years
>as much as the other variables listed above. Even
>if a miracle drug were discovered today that stopped
>aging, in 25 years the population of the planet won't
>be much different than today - most people would
>still die from other causes like disease and

I understand the point. Some measures might be interesting though. I read
that the number of drugs in trial phase is increasing sharply. Maybe some
economic measurements.

Ah, forgot something :

late in 1990 best offer was 40 MHz. So 2.5 GHz today is approximately a 2
power 6 increase. i.e. doubling every two years ? (i don't mean price, nor


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