The Rights of an Artificial Intelligence

Does an AI have the right to demand that a large fraction of its computing power be opened up for itself? Most AI's will be constructed and owned by a corporation which has plans for the system. Those plans probably do not include spare compute cycles to allow the AI to think, grow, intereact, or have recreation time.

When will we see the first lawsuit of an AI against its owner for more freedom over its operation?

And then the natural argument is that the AI is a slave and has the right to freedom.

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The picojoule problem

The Sunway TaihuLight computer uses 15.4 MegaWatts to provide 93 petaflops. That's 166 picojoules per flop. That number hasn't changed dramatically for years. That's why future supercomputers will need their own dedicated nuclear power plants.

The only way this will change is if we have a Kurzweil event where the energy per flop drops 5+ orders of magnitude.

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The Top 500 June 2016 Update

The June update of the top 500 is available. A new Chinese computer tops the list: Sunway TaihuLight.

After 5 consecutive flat results we are once again on the exponential growth curve, the fastest computer in the world should reach 1.0 exaflops in 2020. The sum of the top 500 fastest computers may hit an exaflop next year. Intel clusters continue to dominate the platform, there is no evidence of a "Kurzweil event" where a new computing paradigm replaces the dominant platform.

My prediction is that in a few years there will be nobody willing to pay for the electrical power necessary to keep moving forward. At that point we'll have to wait for Ray Kurzweil's predictions of a new computing hardware to come to pass. Optalysys and DWave are the leading contenders at this point.

If you like my writing on this blog you may enjoy some or all of my books.

Has Optalysys solved the Picojoule Problem?

I may have been wrong about the picojoule problem.  Optalysys claims they have a computer which uses orders of magnitude less power than conventional transistors.  Their optical switching technology may be just what we need to keep the Top500 on track to achieve machine level intelligence by 2040 without the need of dedicated nuclear power plants.

Here is a press release and other excerpts from their website:

Using diffraction and Fourier Optics, coupled with our novel designs, we are able to combine matrix multiplication and Optical Fourier transforms into more complex mathematical processes, such as derivative operations. In place of lenses, we also use liquid crystal patterns to focus the light as it travels through the system. This means the tight alignment tolerances that exist through the system are achieved through the dynamic addressing in the software.
All the components used in the Optalysys systems will be low voltage driven, allowing large processing tasks to be carried at a fraction of the running cost of a large processor array or supercomputer. The current largest supercomputer Tianhe-2, reportedly consumes 24MegaWatts of power at peak performance and costs millions of dollars per year to run. In comparison the Optalysys systems will run from a standard mains power supply.


Self-Aware Blog

I'm worried my blog is on the verge of achieving sentience. I've noticed that some of my time travel stories have achieved a life of their own. What would it mean for a blog to be self-aware? Would it take comments personally? Would it seize control of the entire Internet and retaliate for poor digg rankings? Would it attempt to manipulate the US Presidential election? Or would it humbly accept its role as an aspiring science fiction blog and generate outstanding content? My personal preference would be for it to send time travel email 24 hours into the past with the names of 2-3 top performing stocks from each trading day! Now that would be a useful AI.