Organic Singularity?

16 August 2012

About a month ago I read… ScienceProgress.org::Could the Organic Singularity Occur Prior to Kurzweil’s Technological Singularity? This was the first time I had encountered the idea of an organic singularity.

We own some stock in Billerica, MA-based Bruker Corp. (nasdaq: BRKR). In a nutshell, Bruker is a maker of scientific and technical instruments and I don’t understand most of products.

The following is copied from a Bruker press release on 14 August 02012.

Organic photoelectric materials are already finding large markets as OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) in mobile device displays. There is also interesting research being conducted on OPV (Organic PhotoVoltaic) devices,” said Mark R. Munch, Ph.D., President of Bruker Nano Surfaces Division. “Our new pcAFM accessory transforms the Dimension Icon AFM into a solution for dedicated nanoscale organic photoelectric material research.”

I don’t know what it all means, but the word organic keeps popping up with more frequency these days.


The Future: Genetic Engineering, Nanotechnology, Robotics

29 July 2012

“The Future is genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and, ultimately, robotics,” says Ray Kurzweil.

TEDxNYU – Christopher Bradley – Synthetic Biology: This Will Change Everything“We’re using genes as programming languages,” says Christoper Bradley. “Biology plus engineering equals synthetic biology.”

Empire of the Ants is a good bad movie. At one point while watching it I thought nanoants. An ant would be a great way to introduce the topic of nanotechnology. Most people have seen ants. Ants are small, but we can see them with our naked eyes. A nanoant is one-billionth of an ant. In otherwords, take an ant and cut it into a billion equally sized pieces.

Most realistic android infant?“They plan to add voice, body temperature, skin, body movements, and smell,” says KurzweilAI.net.


5-Digit Year Makes US Young

4 July 2012

I use 5-digit years in selected contexts (e.g. this blog).

4 July 02012 is 236 years since 4 July 01776.

It’s possible the United States of America will still exist in year 10000 (ten thousand). Year 10,000 is the first year requiring 5-digit year format. The 5-digit year format will be good up through year 99,999 (ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine).

If the U.S.A. was a person, then 236 years of age compared to 10,000 years of age makes us a 2.36-year-old (i.e. we’re in our terrible twos).


Ismail & Templeton Say “Be Prepared for Exponential Times”

3 July 2012

Be Prepared for Exponential Times – Salim Ismail & Brad Templeton – DLD Moscow 2012

I’ve been a fan of Brad Templeton for a long time, but I watched only Salim Ismail’s part of “Be Prepared for Exponential Times” presentation. I mined the following quotes because I strongly agree with them.

All of our societal structures evolved in a time when we were local in a linear world. Today we’re global and in an exponential world. — Salim Ismail

Society is not ready for the pace of change the technology is bringing. — Salim Ismail

Once you take any domain and discipline and ground it in information properties it goes into an exponential growth path. And then nothing will shake it off that path after that. — Salim Ismail

Be Prepared for Exponential Times – Salim Ismail & Brad Templeton – DLD Moscow 2012


Revisiting the ‘P’ in HPC

21 June 2012

“Don’t ask me about the ‘P’ in HPC…” is something that I’ve said a lot over the last half decade.

Readability.com::The Era of Pervasive Computing

The article uses the phrase “the Era of Connected Devices”, but I like the phrase “the Internet of Things.” I won’t bother listing the “things,” but the Readability.com posting was specifically focused on “sensors and devices that will monitor and sense our environments, collect data and provide timely and critical feedback.”

I like this quote: “Everything that will benefit from a connection will be connected.”

The following is something I wrote on 1 April 02009…

About the ‘P’ in HPC

HPC stands for High Performance Computing. Historically, the ‘P’ in HPC stood for “performance;” however, these days it stands for much more.

The following is my attempt to define HPC in one sentence.

HPC is a highly pervasive computing environment that
enables highly productive computing via a highly persistent
cyber-infrastructure that exploits highly parallel computing
to provide highly powerful computation.

With less than two years left in decade zero of the 21st century, HPC is really HP^6C — High Performance, Productivity, Pervasive, Persistent, Parallel, Powerful Computing.

HPC systems not only provide peta-scale computation, but they also provide powerful storage systems and, in many cases, powerful visualization systems (e.g. ASU’s Decision Theater).

HPC systems (which for the most part are hardware) need software and these days the software is way behind the hardware. In other words, today’s software is not even close to exploiting the power of HPC systems.


16.32 PetaFlOPS and Counting

18 June 2012

The June 02012 TOP500.org list has the Sequoia supercomputer ranked number one at 16.32 petaflops.

16.32 petaflops Jun 02012 (1.55x in 0.5 year; 55% increase)
10.51 petaflops Nov 02011 (10.2x in 3.5 years; 942% increase)
……………………………………………………….
1.026 petaflops Jun 02008 ( 7.5x in 3 years; 650% increase)
0.1368 petaflops Jun 02005 (i.e. 136.8 teraflops)
……………………………………………………….
teraflops 01996; gigaflops 01985; megaflops 01964

18 June 02012 (Monday):

Intel on Monday introduced a high-performance chip family called Xeon Phi, which provides a stepping stone for the company to reach the milestone of creating an exaflop computer by 2018.

The computing roadmap predicts exascale computing by 02018-02020. Intel’s Xeon Phi announcement makes it appear that the current computing roadmap will be accurate. It is possible we will have exascale computing before the end of the current decade.


The Uncanny Valley by Masahiro Mori

12 June 2012

I find visits to the “Uncanny Valley” bothersome. I quickly recover, but I suspect the visits to the uncanny valley are going to become more frequent and increasingly bothersome.

The Uncanny Valley by Masahiro Mori in 01970.

Spectrum.IEEE.org Editor’s note:
More than 40 years ago, Masahiro Mori, then a robotics professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, wrote an essay on how he envisioned people’s reactions to robots that looked and acted almost human.