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Possible takeaways from the coronavirus pandemic for slow AI takeoff

That analysis has been trenchantly criticised and I don't find it convincing.

Possible takeaways from the coronavirus pandemic for slow AI takeoff

I think we have our answer to the Fermi paradox in our hopeless response to the CV pandemic. The median European country has had deaths/million more than 10 times worse than best practice (Taiwan etc). https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

Civilizations will arise when the species concerned is only barely able to manage the job. I think world history suggests that this is very true of us. The chances of being up to handling the much more complex, difficult challenges of going to the next level seem low.

Reasons compute may not drive AI capabilities growth

Suggestion to test your theory: Look at the best AI results of the last 2 years and try to run them / test them in a reasonable time on a computer that was affordable 10 years ago.

My own opinion is that hardware capacity has been a huge constraint in the past. We are moving into an era where it is less of a problem. But, I think, still a problem. Hardware limitations infect and limit your thinking in all sorts of ways and slow you down terribly.

To take an example from my own work. I have a problem that needs about 50Gb RAM to test efficiently. Otherwise it does not fit in memory and the run time is 100X slower.

I had the option to spend 6 months maybe finding a way to squeeze it into 32Gb. Or, what I did: spend a few thousand on a machine with 128Gb RAM. To run in 1Gb RAM would have been a world of pain, maybe not doable in the time I have to work on it.