In September 1956 IBM launched the 305 RAMAC, the world’s first supercomputer with 5 MB of data.
The machine weighed over a ton — it took a team of people to transport it.
To put the computer size and storage in perspective, our pocket-sized phones contain 256GB of storage. A grain of rice dwarfs the world’s smallest computer.
120 Years of Moore’s Law
Like fire and farming techniques before it, the ubiquity of computers and the exponential processing speed of chips, also known as Moore’s Law, changed the course of history. But even Moore’s Law is dying in exchange for brain-inspired chips.
Writes venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson who updated Ray Kurzweil’s visualization of Moore’s Law:
The fine-grained parallel compute architecture of a GPU maps better to the needs of deep learning than a CPU. There is a poetic beauty to the computational similarity of a processor optimized for graphics processing and the computational needs of a sensory cortex, as commonly seen in neural networks today.
Stephen T. Jurvetson
Dare we say it, the next supercomputer is not only artificially intelligent, but it also melds the mind and the machine.
Forget Google. Imagine having already downloaded all the relevant knowledge directly to your mind and using it expeditiously.
Here’s how IBM’s Director of Research Dario Gil sees the fusion of chips, neurons, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing wiring together.
“We’re beginning to see an answer to what is happening at the end of Moore’s law. It’s a question that has been the front of the industry for a long, long time.
And the answer is that we’re going to have this new foundation of bits plus neurons plus qubits coming together, over the next decade [at] different maturity levels – bits [are] enormously mature, the world of neural networks and neural technology, next in maturity, [and] quantum the least mature of those. [It] is important to anticipate what will happen when those three things intersect within a decade.”
Eye patch, parrot, and wooden leg, and a limp. Those are the essential ingredients to becoming a pirate.
But did you know that pirates wore an eye patch, not because of a missing eye, but because the patch increased their sight instantly inside low lit areas?
Early technology to avoid temporary blindness
During raids, pirates needed the ability to flip up the eye patch so they could quickly snag a cannonball faster below the deck of the ship.
So one eye was trained to see in daylight, the other in dark. The pirate patch was an early technology to solve the issue of temporary blindness caused by going to a dark room from a brightly lit space.
MesoSPIMs are open-source light-sheet microscopes for imaging cleared tissue.
The custom-built microscopes enable scientists to look at individual neurons using sheets of light rather than cutting a brain into slices.
The mesoSPIM Initiative paves the way for the future discovery and understanding of the brain’s complex organization. The studies may one day reveal vital information on the neuronal networks that drive mental illnesses and addictions.
There’s a road in the Netherlands that starts to sing the Frisian Folk Song when cars hit the right speed of 60 kph/40 mph limit.
The musical road resides in the village of Jelsum in the north part of Holland.
The structure of the strategically laid “rumble strips” was built in 2018 to celebrate the unique language and culture of the Friesland region. But the special ‘singing road’ also served as a warning to slow down speedy drivers.
However, the musical experience struck a chord (literally) with the locals who grew tired of hearing the notes 24 hours a day.
According to Dutch News, the €80,000 custom-built pavement markers were finally removed for driving (see what I did there) ‘psychological torture’.