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Archive for the ‘supercomputing’ category

Nov 8, 2019

Google’s Sycamore breakthrough doesn’t spell the end for China’s hopes of winning quantum computer race

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, supercomputing

After the US tech giant announced it had developed a chip that dramatically outperformed supercomputers, Chinese researchers remain confident they can find the ‘holy grail’ of technology.

Nov 3, 2019

The Next Computer Revolution Will Be Based on Our Brains

Posted by in categories: internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI, supercomputing

Think of the human brain as an immensely powerful supercomputer. But as one of the most complex systems in Nature, there’s still much to learn about how it works. That’s why researchers from the Human Brain Project are attempting to unravel even more of its mysteries. However, most neuroscientists still believe that consciousness is generated in our brains, trying to justify their chosen profession as the only key to our experience of the world. It is not. We humans don’t live in a vacuum, we are not “brains in a vat,” so to speak. Just like your smartphone, your brain is a ‘bio’-logical computing device of your mind, an interface into physical reality. Our minds are connected to the broader mind-network, as computers in the Cloud. Consciousness is “non-local” Cloud, our brain-mind systems are receivers, processors and transmitters of information within that Cloud. So, a truly multidisciplinary and computationalist approach is required to crack the neural code and reverse-engineer consciousness in AI and cybernetic systems. We shouldn’t be surprised if all that hype about testing for the “seat of consciousness” could only end up refining our understanding of neural correlates — not how consciousness originates in the brain because it’s not its origin there. The Internet or a cellular network is not generated by your smartphone — only processed by it. Species-wide mind-networks are ubiquitous in Nature. What’s different with humans is that the forthcoming cybernetic mediation could become synthetic telepathy and beyond that — the emergence of one global mind, the Syntellect Emergence (cf. The Syntellect Hypothesis) #consciousness #HumanBrainProject


In episode four of Bloomberg’s Moonshot, see how 500 scientists in 100 universities are spending $1.1 billion on the Human Brain Project.

Oct 29, 2019

Supercomputer analyzes web traffic across entire internet

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, internet, policy, supercomputing

Using a supercomputing system, MIT researchers have developed a model that captures what web traffic looks like around the world on a given day, which can be used as a measurement tool for internet research and many other applications.

Understanding patterns at such a large scale, the researchers say, is useful for informing policy, identifying and preventing outages, defending against cyberattacks, and designing more efficient computing infrastructure. A paper describing the approach was presented at the recent IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference.

For their work, the researchers gathered the largest publicly available internet traffic dataset, comprising 50 billion data packets exchanged in different locations across the globe over a period of several years.

Oct 25, 2019

What Google’s ‘quantum supremacy’ means for the future of computing

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, supercomputing

For the first time ever, a quantum computer has performed a computational task that would be essentially impossible for a conventional computer to complete, according to a team from Google.

Scientists and engineers from the company’s lab in Santa Barbara announced the milestone in a report published Wednesday in the journal Nature. They said their machine was able to finish its job in just 200 seconds—and that the world’s most powerful supercomputers would need 10,000 years to accomplish the same task.

The task itself, which involved executing a randomly chosen sequence of instructions, does not have any particular practical uses. But experts say the achievement is still significant as a demonstration of the future promise of .

Oct 24, 2019

Scientists are trying to build a conscious machine — here’s why it will never work

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, robotics/AI, supercomputing

Many advanced artificial intelligence projects say they are working toward building a conscious machine, based on the idea that brain functions merely encode and process multisensory information. The assumption goes, then, that once brain functions are properly understood, it should be possible to program them into a computer. Microsoft recently announced that it would spend US$1 billion on a project to do just that.

So far, though, attempts to build supercomputer brains have not even come close. A multi-billion-dollar European project that began in 2013 is now largely understood to have failed. That effort has shifted to look more like a similar but less ambitious project in the U.S., developing new software tools for researchers to study brain data, rather than simulating a brain.

Some researchers continue to insist that simulating neuroscience with computers is the way to go. Others, like me, view these efforts as doomed to failure because we do not believe consciousness is computable. Our basic argument is that brains integrate and compress multiple components of an experience, including sight and smell – which simply can’t be handled in the way today’s computers sense, process and store data.

Oct 23, 2019

Google officially lays claim to quantum supremacy

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, supercomputing

The quantum computer Sycamore reportedly performed a calculation that even the most powerful supercomputers available can’t reproduce.

Oct 21, 2019

New supercomputer simulations explore magnetic reconnection and make a surprising discovery

Posted by in categories: cosmology, mobile phones, supercomputing

Magnetic reconnection, a process in which magnetic field lines tear and come back together, releasing large amounts of kinetic energy, occurs throughout the universe. The process gives rise to auroras, solar flares and geomagnetic storms that can disrupt cell phone service and electric grids on Earth. A major challenge in the study of magnetic reconnection, however, is bridging the gap between these large-scale astrophysical scenarios and small-scale experiments that can be done in a lab.

Researchers have now overcome this barrier through a combination of clever experiments and cutting-edge simulations. In doing so, they have uncovered a previously unknown role for a universal process called the “Biermann battery effect,” which turns out to impact magnetic in unexpected ways.

The Biermann battery effect, a possible seed for the magnetic fields pervading our universe, generates an electric current that produces these fields. The surprise findings, made through , show the effect can play a significant role in the reconnection occurring when the Earth’s magnetosphere interacts with astrophysical plasmas. The effect first generates lines, but then reverses roles and cuts them like scissors slicing a rubber band. The sliced fields then reconnect away from the original reconnection point.

Oct 17, 2019

Why Computers Will Never Be Truly Conscious

Posted by in category: supercomputing

Attempts to build supercomputer brains have not even come close to the real thing.

Oct 14, 2019

New approach for the simulation of quantum chemistry—modelling the molecular architecture

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics, quantum physics, supercomputing

Searching for new substances and developing new techniques in the chemical industry: tasks that are often accelerated using computer simulations of molecules or reactions. But even supercomputers quickly reach their limits. Now researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching (MPQ) have developed an alternative, analogue approach. An international team around Javier Argüello-Luengo, Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), Ignacio Cirac, Director and Head of the Theory Department at the MPQ, Peter Zoller, Director at the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Innsbruck (IQOQI), and others have designed the first blueprint for a quantum simulator that mimics the quantum chemistry of molecules. Like an architectural model can be used to test the statics of a future building, a molecule simulator can support investigating the properties of molecules. The results are now published in the scientific journal Nature.

Using hydrogen, the simplest of all , as an example, the global team of physicists from Garching, Barcelona, Madrid, Beijing and Innsbruck theoretically demonstrate that the quantum simulator can reproduce the behaviour of a real molecule’s . In their work, they also show how experimental physicists can build such a simulator step by step. “Our results offer a new approach to the investigation of phenomena appearing in quantum chemistry,” says Javier Argüello-Luengo. This is highly interesting for chemists because classical computers notoriously struggle to simulate chemical compounds, as molecules obey the laws of quantum physics. An electron in its shell, for example, can rotate to the left and right simultaneously. In a compound of many particles, such as a molecule, the number of these parallel possibilities multiplies. Because each electron interacts with each other, the complexity quickly becomes impossible to handle.

As a way out, in 1982, the American physicist Richard Feynman suggested the following: We should simulate quantum systems by reconstructing them as simplified models in the laboratory from , which are inherently quantum, and therefore implying a parallelism of the possibilities by default. Today, quantum simulators are already in use, for example to imitate crystals. They have a regular, three-dimensional atomic lattice which is imitated by several intersecting , the “optical lattice.” The intersection points form something like wells in an egg carton into which the are filled. The interaction between the atoms can be controlled by amplifying or attenuating the rays. This way researchers gain a variable model in which they can study atomic behavior very precisely.

Sep 27, 2019

DARPA aims to make networks 100 times speedier with FastNIC

Posted by in categories: internet, supercomputing

Having a slow connection is always frustrating, but just imagine how supercomputers feel. All those cores doing all kinds of processing at lightning speed, but in the end they’re all waiting on an outdated network interface to stay in sync. DARPA doesn’t like it. So DARPA wants to change it — specifically by making a new network interface a hundred times faster.

The problem is this. As DARPA estimates it, processors and memory on a computer or server can in a general sense work at a speed of roughly 1014 bits per second — that’s comfortably into the terabit region — and networking hardware like switches and fiber are capable of about the same.

“The true bottleneck for processor throughput is the network interface used to connect a machine to an external network, such as an Ethernet, therefore severely limiting a processor’s data ingest capability,” explained DARPA’s Jonathan Smith in a news post by the agency about the project. (Emphasis mine.)

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