Artificial intelligence

The era of "alien" computing

13 of October of 2017

Information Technology is entering a new era. The limits of physics are beginning to challenge the continuing validity of the law Gordon E. Moore proclaimed in 1965. Moore is one of the founders of the North American chip giant Intel. Reality still has not overcome reason, although now processing capacity is doubling every three to four years instead of every two as he predicted at the time (after revising his initial prediction, which was just one year). But semiconductor manufacturers are aware of the fact that the model is coming to an end, and stagnation when sales of desktops and laptops are declining have sent up alarms. This is what was lacking in an environment already quite in turbulence due to the explosion of new applications such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence: the reduction of the scale of mobile devices and imminent 5G connectivity, which will inject data in real time to Virtual and.

Two technologies have appeared on the horizon that have the ability to take over and project computing to new unexplored dimensions over a few more decades: quantum computing and neuromorphic chips. If we stick to the expectations that are generated around the first of them, it would seem that we are on the brink of leaving behind a stage of development that could be equated with prehistoric times. Newsweek has ruled that they are as different from traditional computing “as an abacus to a MacBook.” The National Review has a dystopian view: “Let’s not fool ourselves; competition for the quantum computer is the new arms race. The country that develops one first will have the ability to destroy armies and bring down the global economy. “Does this sound nuts? As had been already demonstrated in 1990 by MIT professor Peter Shor, quantum computing will be capable of breaking any RSA algorithm, which is the foundation on which modern cryptography is based. So for a time, the first to master this technology will have the ability to function without others having the same tools to combat them. At least in theory.

Data management expert Bernard Marr has explained six potential uses for quantum computing in Forbes. He speaks first of online security, whose dark side is that, in parallel with increased protection, “current data encryption tactics will become obsolete “and therefore will be easily attackable. According to Marr, other possible applications have to do with traffic management (take note infrastructure managers), weather forecasting, drug development and artificial intelligence. Ultimately, he argues, we will be able to tackle each problem completely in one go, which will eventually transform everything from the financial world to national security.

What is truly fascinating about quantum computing is the “alien” aspect, the theoretical basis on which it is based. Quantum bits (known as qubits) are a unit of basic information analogous to zeros and one of today’s common transistors. The difference is that they can represent a 0, a 1 …or both at the same time. Since it is able to perform several operations at the same time, its calculation potential reaches an unknown dimension. In addition, there is the possibility that its activity overlaps, which brings the world of computing into completely new territory. In fact, the industry is committed to the task of obtaining maximum calculation capacity and connecting it to industry and the consumer market. The first serious business estimates are already appearing, such as the 2024 Quantum Computing Market Size report, which predicts for 2024 revenues of $8.45 billion in the sale of products and services and an investment of state funds of $2.25 billion.

As for neuromorphic chips, they mimic the way our neurons communicate. They do it in a much more sophisticated manner than the synchronized time synchronization of traditional CPUs. They are able to work in parallel and are activated with bursts of electric current only when the need arises. As if this were not enough, these chips need much less energy to process artificial intelligence algorithms. Solutions like Nengo are already making it possible to create such algorithms and apply them in areas such as vision and speech systems, movement control and robot operation. Just like that, a new day is dawning with the possibility of living surrounded by intelligent systems like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, who will start listening to our conversation, interpreting our gestures and will interact autonomously in order to anticipate our needs.

Moore can rest peacefully.

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