Re: Why invest in AGI?

From: Richard Loosemore (
Date: Sun Jan 22 2006 - 19:18:02 MST

There is only one problem with your story: I very much fear that it is
not true that if we got brain-power hardware, we would get an AI.

If you gave Microsoft a set of four Blue Gene-L machines, they *still*
would not be able to deliver a bug-free version of Word any time in the
next century.

We probably have the hardware power right now. What we lack are the
right theoretical approach and software techniques. More particularly,
I think we lack the right software-construction tools.

You might respond that it does neverthless make a compact story to give
to an investor: I'm not sure, though, because I think they know,
intuitively, that it has a false ring to it.

Richard Loosemore.

Dani Eder wrote:
> My simple story for potential investors:
> The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each with
> 10,000
> synapses firing at an average of 100 Hz, for a total
> synapse
> firing rate of 100 x 10^15/sec.
> A modern CPU chip (Athlon 64 X2 4800+, 2.4 GHz) has
> two cores
> each processing an average of 1.5 calculations/cycle x
> 64 bits.
> This gives a bit rate of 460 x 10^9.
> There is some question about how much data a synapse
> firing
> equates to, but assume 1 bit/synapse firing for now.
> Thus
> it would take 217,000 of these CPU chips to equate to
> a human
> brain.
> The most powerful computer in the world (Blue Gene-L)
> has
> 40% fewer CPU chips, and they are each 39% as powerful
> as the
> Athlon above, for a total of about 1/4 of the required
> power.
> So the failure of AI to date can be explained by the
> lack of
> adequate hardware.
> Special purpose AI accelerator chips, similar to
> graphics
> accelerator ships, may buy you a factor of
> 10 improvement. Clever programming may buy you
> another
> factor of 10, and the expected improvement in
> computers
> in the next 5 years will get you another factor of 5.
> This would bring the number of blade servers required
> down
> to ~430, which is a reasonably small number. So an
> investment
> in accelerator chip design and AI programming, coupled
> with
> the expected improvement in computers overall, could
> yield
> true AI in 5 years.
> DRN (I've previously signed my messages 'Daniel', but
> Daniel Radetsky signs his messages the same way. To
> avoid confusion I'm now using the initials of my
> historical
> re-enactment persona 'Daniel of Raven's Nest', which
> is
> where my email address comes from. Dani Eder is my
> real
> world name)
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