Both terms, PFLOPS and Eflop/s, refer to a unit of computing performance. The acronym FLOPS stands for “FLoating point Operations Per Second,” which is a measure of a computer’s performance, especially in fields of scientific calculations that make heavy use of floating-point calculations.
“P” in PFLOPS stands for peta, which is 10^15, and “E” in Eflop/s stands for exa, which is 10^18. Therefore, 1 PFLOPS equals 10^15 FLOPS, and 1 Eflop/s equals 10^18 FLOPS.
So, if we translate these units:
10 PFLOPS = 10 * 10^15 FLOPS = 10^16 FLOPS
1.194 Eflop/s = 1.194 * 10^18 FLOPS
Therefore, 1.194 Eflop/s is significantly larger than 10 PFLOPS, more precisely it is 1.194*10^2 or about 119.4 times faster than the human brain.
Of course, we’re talking about supercomputers here, but today a single Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 chip (retails for about AUD$3000) can achieve a performance of 69.7 teraflops (TFLOPS), which makes the human brain about 143 times faster than a single 4090 – in terms of pure processing speed. But string tens of thousands 4090’s together, and you get ChatGPT.
I went on in my old post to wonder why there wasn’t more talk about AI in the mainstream media and by world governments. Then I said
It reminds me of a chat I had with Australian SF author Damien Broderick over dinner about ten years ago. I asked him when he thought these subjects would be discussed by the general populace. He replied “when it’s way too late to do anything about it”.
And look at us now, running around like chickens with our head chopped off trying to work out how to regulate AI. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I was just scrolling through some old posts of mine and found this one from 2008 where I talk about the fastest supercomputer in the world at that time which was capable of 1.026 QIPS (quadrillion instructions per second aka 1 petaflop).
I predicted at the time that by 2012 we should have supercomputers running 16 QIPS / petaflops.
My 2008 post posited that the human brain was only capable of 10 petaflops – and it that’s true, it means that Tianhe-2 is running at 3x the speed of a human brain. It’s ability to use that processing power (eg its software) may not yet be as sophisticated as ours – but how long before they catch up?
I just watched this video on how the crew from D-Wave build their quantum computers.
You haven’t heard of D-Wave? You will.
They sell the world’s only commercial quantum computer, and recently announced an impressive new customer: a collaboration between Google, NASA and the non-profit Universities Space Research Association. What are they doing together? Research artificial intelligence.
In May 2013, D-Wave published a comparison of their technology against regular top-end desktop computers running an optimization algorithm. Using a configuration with 439 qubits, the system performed 3,600 times as fast as the best algorithm (CPLEX) on the conventional machine, solving problems with 100 or more variables in half a second compared with half an hour.
He was born in Bulgaria, but moved to Toronto in 1998 where he obtained degrees in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics. About 18 months ago he started the Singularity 1 on 1 podcast and since then has interviewed major big brains, from Kurzweil and Vinge to Wolfram and Stross.
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Adam Ford, who invited me to speak at last year’s Singularity Summit in Melbourne, is also organising this year’s H+ Summit in Melbourne, June 25 – 26. He asked me to post some info about it:
The H+ Summit @ Melbourne brings together an eclectic mix of rationalists, futurists, science fiction writers, AI experts, scientists, biotechnology experts, philosophers and theorists to pursue deep philosophical, scientific and technological inquiry, with the aim of being able to discern those changes which are likely to have profound impacts and those which are merely transient and or fashionable.
Technological innovation permeates all aspects of society — from tiny water purification packets and 3d printers, to GPS tracking devices, wearable smart devices, decision support systems, replaceable body parts and personal genome tests. Because technology and society evolve together, it has become increasingly important to develop a greater understanding of how technology is shaping the course of our lives. We are faced with the challenge to continuously become innovative in harnessing and controlling technological development as it accelerates on many diverse fronts. The “pioneers of the future” are faced with the necessity to become ever more resourceful. Even the most conservative thinkers agree that we have already stepped into an era of a profound change. The good news is that our human diversity continues to spawn both inventiveness and novelty.
This conference is brought to you by Humanity+ @ Melbourne (Victoria, Australia). Humanity+ explores how society might use and profit from a variety of creative and innovative thought. Join us for this adventurous journey into the future where you can make a difference! This conference will challenge and enhance your view of the future.