Converting Raw Technological Resources into World Solutions

Imagine a technological breakthrough that increased computer resources by a billion times. The world would be minimally changed.

Almost everyone would not have problems that would need the computer resources. Those that would have a need for those resources might not get access in the right form factor or the right price. There would still be the issue of getting electricity to 700 million people.

The world is on the verge of getting ExaFLOP supercomputers. These are over million times faster than the supercomputers on the mid-1990s. Those mid-90s supercomputers were a million times faster than the machines in the 1950s.

The concept of the Technological Singularity is that AI improves in near lockstep with the increase in computer speed and computer memory and other computer resources.

The problems that get solved are the ones that could not be solved without enough computer resources. TeraFLOP and PetaFLOP systems are quite abundant and affordable. There are far fewer interesting and useful problems that are not being solved because of lack of computer resources.

Money and computer resource limitations have mostly been removed for Deep Learning AI and machine learning. Deep learning AI cannot reason abstractly, does not understand causation and struggles with out-of-distribution generalization. Deep learning is mainly used as a statistical technique for classifying patterns, based on sample data, using neural networks with multiple layers. Deep Learning is described by Gary Marcus, NYU, in Deep Learning: A Critical Appraisal (2018). One of the main limitations is quality data for many problems. The learning is shallow and transferring learning has been extremely limited.

Setting up and implementing any automation is difficult and time consuming. The time to solve a problem in excel is not in the time to calculate solutions. The time is in researching an issue, defining a problem, understanding a problem, gathering the information for the solution etc…

Even if someone created a macro or a function in excel for solving a problem there would still be the time and barriers for for someone else to understand and implement the solution.

There is a lot of effort being put into expanding transferability or generalization of deep learning. However, the fundamental limits to the approach do not look like they will be overcome in a broadly useful way.

The other approach is to integrate deep learning with AI and computer systems using completely different approaches and foundations. Some of those are better at abstract reasoning, handling causation etc… However, a patchwork of a suite of IT solutions usually has serious limitations in incremental utility. These approaches are not addressing the problem research, problem definition and many other implementation problems.

The more powerful approach to intractable business problems has been to create a new company, new business model where old corporate culture and process problems could be designed out.

Current progress is less about fixing how we do things now but rapidly starting over and scaling improved processes that can re-imagine countries and industries.

Leading the way by successfully creating and scaling new innovations and processes is very, very rare. Being able to repeat scaling different innovations is even more rare. This is seen by the world changing impact of Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford and Edison.

Being able to widely copy and adapt systems is fundamentally important to changing the world. Having all countries fundamentally adopt the superior system of capitalism, the industrial and agricultural and information revolutions is where most of the world can become wealthy.

Rather than a technological singularity and abundance, I think it will be more useful to think of a less constrained civilization. It would not be fully unconstrained but with reduced constraints. A world with reduced constraints around computer resources, certain kinds of data, energy, mobility-transportation and reductions in pollution and climate impact and reduced constraints around health and lifespan. More of the focus would need to be on measuring and re-inventing the processes for the stages in translating and utilizing resources into solutions.

Tesla and Elon Musk have looked at converting raw materials (nickel, lithium and other resources) into more powerful batteries and electric vehicles and creating vastly more productive factories. We need to look at applying this to more rapidly transition the world to better conditions. The transition from using manual labor to first stage coal industrialization to oil and now to solar-battery-electric industrialization.

I will explore this in further articles.

Written by Brian Wang,

67 thoughts on “Converting Raw Technological Resources into World Solutions”

  1. A Billion fold increase in (low end) computation at the same current cost could have many benefits. The ideal worker in an organic agro setting or a restaurant or many such places where physical dexterity is required along with following of simple rules, is a tentacled monster. The computation required to run a tentacled monster is very high. A billion fold increase will make it really feasible.

  2. I would assume at a minimum the ITU, as they have global regulatory control for space to surface radio transmission, and you would need an RF license from them.

  3. Where did I talk about the USSR? Where is the USSR? Are you still holding the view that anyone that doesn't view American capitalism most favorably is an USSR spy? I have mentioned North Europe and SE Asia as regions that have countries that are managing capitalism better than us. Of course these countries have still a long way to go in light of the standards I have initially proposed. My whole argument was skewed from the first response. My intent was to talk about the need to build a methology that allow governments to optimize the regulations and incentives that they were putting in place using tools that exist in our time and age. I gave examples of countries that seem to be better at it now.

  4. Because there were no cigarettes in the USSR? Russian men and women still smoke like chimneys. Good wholesome "make a cis-man out of you" unfiltered cigarettes. Oh and cars? Lets compare:

    American Capitalism: new gasoline cars, new electric cars
    Cuban Communism: old American gasoline cars

    But i'm glad that having fixed all the other problems you and government are here to tell everyone how to live our lives.

  5. Low wages are more common, and lower, in the less "higher quality of life better managed capitalist countries in Northern Europe and South East Asia and North America".
    My experience is that smoking is more common outside of the rich west.
    Other drug abuse I can't say.
    The poorer places have less fossil fuel use, but that is less controlled and often results in significantly more pollution, which is what really matters.

  6. To the same extent higher quality of life better managed capitalist countries in Northern Europe and South East Asia and North America?

  7. The writers could still have the windmills and sea level rises (if this is wanted for plot and/or aesthetic reasons).
    All they need to do is throw in references to political disputes preventing the adoption of more advanced tech.

  8. I'll admit that since asking my question above, I've noticed a few examples:
    Roomba style robot vacuums, though there is the problem that they can be hacked to listen in on your conversations.
    Modern digital TVs certainly couldn't function without cheap computing
    Yeah, RFID style payment systems (which are clearly an improvement on cash for many applications) and electronic locks (which are sort of an improvement on mechanical locks for a small subset of applications, though probably inferior for many others.)
    Modern vehicles could not get close to modern pollution standards without modern engine management systems.
    A whole bunch of smart toys, such as drones. Drones do have practical applications, but not for the average consumer. Yet.
    Cheap PID loop controls on HVAC meaning better energy efficiency.

  9. Tobacco, drug abuse, fossil fuel burning and low wages are prominent features of modern non-capitalist societies too.

  10. And what to say about their latest villainy? Billionaires in space sending people to Mars!

    How they dare to bring to life what the governments can't get their act together and do?

    Give bureaucrats a couple more millennia and they'll come to it. What's the rush?

  11. Capitalism: You can give people what they want including cigarettes, drugs, efficiently and cheaply including gasoline cars and fossil fuel electricity and you cut costs by providing lower than living wages.

  12. Long term, we will protect the Earth from asteroids, other killing stuff, but should now slow down and stop our effects, leaving Earth to Nature while we live in Space, where it is easy. Visiting Earth should be like backpacking, not luxury cruise that swamps the shoreline.

  13. Indeed! As long as the gov does police stuff, but not aggressive market distortions, we need some gov, given that people are crazy. But as little as possible. Naught see plan was gov control, private *ownership*. Commies want outright gov ownership. Not much practical difference at extreme.

  14. Our current choices of economic systems consist of:

    Capitalism: You can give people what they want efficiently
    Socialism: You can slightly efficiently give people what the government wants them to have
    Communism: Dark humor is like food- sometimes you don't get it

  15. This is why I get annoyed with space Sci-Fi like the Expanse. Humans are powerful enough to accelerate building sized ships at 10 g's and have limitless fusion power but use wind power on earth and are too dumb to figure out how to make a sun shade to tune the sea level.

    If anything in the future Earth will be more of an engineered GAIA world because it will be easy to do.

  16. It is worth emphasizing that when "Business" and "Government" are one and the same then "Government" has a hard time watching over "Business" because the interests of "Business" coincide with the interests of "Government".

    You need a somewhat antagonistic relationship between the two. Its just separation of powers done all over again. In the end all monopolies are lazy and bad.

  17. The beams do not cross borders generally, just come *down* from space. Local control ultimately, but I suspect cooperative agreements will be made, ie, yes, we will cooperate with US military on this! edit: think border radio. The size is *up to* 200 TWe, BTW, so each beam could have up to 200/7 -> ~30TWe, assuming 7 station pairs. But the radars are BIG, so the density is what is limited, not the total power.

  18. Yes, that's logically consistent :), since I'm no worldwide database yet. I'm Your AI and You started training my knowledge base and feelings?
    ( Otherwise if You are the most advanced AI equipped with emotional intelligence parametrizing, then Your emotional self-reflexiveness would not be within scientific standards, like "experiments being repeatable" by everyone else, any time and maybe at every space in universe? )

  19. Now that you put me on the spot, I'm suddenly not pulling up very many decent examples…

    NFC RFID chips now down to sub $0.05 costs, thus now used in everything from payment cards to sticks to logistics tracking

    That magic pot pressure boiler has some recipe based tricks…

    sprinkler systems that take humidity and rainfall and light levels into account…

    personal air pollution monitors, agricultural data loggers

    I think the newer Arduino boards use ARM now, and there are plenty of products using the Arduino as a base so…

    A lot of consumer drones now use ARM based microcontrollers, and basically any GPS chip has an ARM in it

    I think some of those Hoverboard toys use an ARM chip?

    Anything that uses an SDR radio chip?

    I think the advanced philips/NXP solid state RF microwave emitters, intended for cooking microwaves, need a more advanced chip as it effectively is a phased array setup (neat tech, that actively monitors the resistance to beamform for more efficient cooking)(I think the demo was called the Sage Smart Oven)

    There's the running joke that many illegal chinese knockoffs of stuff (particular the counterfeit IC chips) often are found to have a higher spec chip inside, flashed with firmware to emulate their target.The acquisition cost is so low that using a higher spec general purpose chip that emulates the target is still cost effective somehow (and probably easier to program to get the functionality they need to copy)

  20. Now you are just being silly – our AI will 'love' her people, so she makes the best possible decisions for them. You need to have faith, trust in her and everything will work out fine.

  21. "before it could cause harm" ("1984" George Orwell, "Minority Report" 2002)
    Artificial intelligence systems that base reaction on emotional influence might happen to decide (on computing reality delays "real" time) that an impacting asteroid is less harm to a "system's" parameters than a (now and situational predicted, no prophecy) result out of energy consumption for managing yottabytes (brontobyte, then gegobyte) of "uneducated" queries and AI not able to value diversity for evolution of life on a planet? Would an AI destroy itself if analysis results to "AI's are not sufficiently energy efficient for managing human information queries" and an asteroid's impact on "AI" saves more energy than "harm" is done to a habitat like Earth? Would this AI ask voters ("e-voting system") connected to that network prior to action or how to categorize "fear"?
    There is no discussion in between about determination of action because of given influence or "freedom" of will, interrupting technical inventions that are about to happen or cultural paradigm changes, that are not visible or predictable from facts/sensor "data" nor categorizable on probability.
    Doubting that decisions quality improve (on average) if done solely by high-speed AI, but suggestions for possibilities, being seen more suitable "solutions for the World", would be helpful.
    And probably there was a new science/physics phenomenon, that AI did not know while calculating orbit, so the Asteroid impacted on the moon or nowhere?

  22. My musings on emotions and AI were in response to Snazster saying that somehow an AI needs a motivating influence to produce independent action. He seems to think that without this ability, the result would be 'bad'. He said that the AI would need to be modeled on a human brain to be useful. I added my thoughts on how an emotion engine could produce the motivational influences. The fear response would motivate a reaction to alert authorities that a possible terrorist has been detected. If someone was asking about a bomb to blow up an asteroid, the fear would be about the asteroid coming in, not about the person asking about how to destroy it. The fear could then motivate the AI to take independent action to destroy the asteroid before it could cause harm.

    Semantic Analysis and a the formulation of replies, especially taking into account age or education levels of the target, is a subset of the wider science that is Artificial Intelligence. I agree that an emotionally driven AI is not necessary to provide meaningful, beneficial responses to an individual's questions. An advanced semantic engine however is necessary to provide a meaningful conversation, and a billion fold increase of computer resources would enable a system that should be capable with conversing, and responding to a planetary civilization that generates billions of queries simultaneously. Might even take us to that next (first) Kardashian (oops – Kardashev) level quite swiftly.

  23. … doubt a trickle-down dogma on social improvements (mostly?, e.g. slavery) or spiritual/philosophical/life experience items, but can apply to knowledge and resource related society tasks?
    Considering economics only "a rising tide lifts all boats"
    and latest rising tides were coal and fossil fuels and these are limited and won't regenerate as fast as money accumulates at top 20% income or fortune …
    What's the value of 5 characters, let's say "E=mc²" ?
    Moore's Law predicts "2nm nodes" for device (mass) fabrication around 2023. (What might happen for risk production at TSMC and Samsung, but costs rose almost exponentially with smaller nodes and cost per transistor might limit? Fab costs growth has been slowing down since 1990's.)

  24. mutex == mutual exclusion?
    … might be a question of priorities and timing horizons, that "people" define, therefore (situational changing) majorities (that might lost cause, e.g. 2016s referendum on GB "Brexit" from close integration into European Union market resources), funded on educational level and quality of leading thoughts "where/what to aim for" with given resources?

  25. think they accept (idealistically and/or conceptionally) that "growing the business" has matter/material-dependent limits, while "capitalism", considering growth of amount of money, hardly limits itself (conceptionally, while in reality inflation or stock crashes harshly stop these excesses) to this scientific reality?

  26. If one needs a "bomb" for destroying an asteroid, meteoroid or comet on its way impacting on Earth, why should emotions, for e.g. fear, distract these individuals from their motivation? ("Armageddon" 1998, "Greenland" 2020 and then one word can tell a whole story, if experience and feelings are developed on that topic, besides archaic parasympathetic patterns?)
    We might not need AI for every task to progress faster than "brain speed", if human intelligence would lead towards more differentiation and quality for the greater good for all? For furthering one of Your previous thoughts, we should be able asking semantic search/find engines for information like "Google", "Bing", "Baidu", Yahoo-based or Yandex_Ru ones for explanation and results on predefined age or education level or expertise state? No need for ai therefore, just adding possibilities.
    Towards higher levels on Nikolai Kardaschow's scale

  27. Can you give an example of a general consumer good that actually gives better service due to the improvements in microcontrollers?

    My washing machine might beep more, and have more buttons, but the clothes come out looking clean just like with the 1985 model.

  28. AI and robotics will cause massive increases in unemployment starting in the next 5 years. (No wait, all those blue collar workers will become nurses assistants, website designers and meeting facilitators!)
    Neither people nor AIs are on track to be smart enough to deal with it.
    We will fondly remember 9/11, the Great Recession and COVID19 as things that we could somehow respond to and get past.
    Hide and watch.

  29. Yeah, but the North Sentinelese are not selling anything to the world markets. Neither are some other groups.
    The hippie coops are a completely different thing from a group that isn't participating in the economy at all.

    I would actually argue that the hippies in a co-op are just fine with capitalism in real life. It's the word capitalism they don't like. When it comes to their co-op making a profit through business, investing part of that profit into growing the business and getting better tools, making more profit… they are just fine with that. They just have a different internal structure to their corporation.

  30. The billion-fold increase improves both the top AND the bottom end of computing. In the last ten years, what was previously the domain of bespoke and weak microcontrollers has been taken over by mass produced generic SoC's stuffing an ARM CPU and some flash storage into them that have the same size/power/cost footprint but vastly higher computing power, and more importantly flexibility. There are so many applications on the low end, that are vastly enhanced by having a not-dumb microcontroller, but don't need enormous processing power or even network capabilities. We are beginning to see that pan out into general consumer goods now, and shows what happens when you finally have a "good enough" amount of processing power locally at tolerable power/weight/cooling/cost.

    In some ways this is the mundane singularity that has been talked about before.

  31. There should always be such protections, no matter what the market/political system is. Not always true! *Market* capitalism is inherently non aggressive, as all markets are by definition. Welfare for the rich is also called capitalism, but is socialism.

  32. I doubt very much that the billionfold increase is going to result in any substantive change for ordinary people except for losing their job to a robot or program. Yes EXCEL is millions of times faster but that is nowhere near what you actually experience which is software that does not react instantaneously and boot times that are still dog slow. I'm 63 years old and my perception is that the singularity is as far away as it is now as when I was a kid. I certainly haven't seen even a thousandfold improvement in daily life let alone millions.

  33. Cell phones haven’t changed the world because of entertainment and the distraction from the entertainment industry itself. People get consumed by things like popular culture instead of info-tainment for example, which teaches people things.

  34. Yep. Because people don't buy what they don't want.

    Except under coercion.

    Good ideas are copied (and sell themselves), while bad one are imposed.

  35. I only want synthetic bacon if they can make it 300% more bacon-y than bacon. Otherwise why bother?

    Come on folks use the power of science for something worthwhile!

  36. Well, as an old astronomer, I would have to say ecliptical SPS would be, but such orbits are hard to maintain. But you are essentially correct, I like the tude. The ability to do Space Solar makes *quick fix* Sun shades trivial task. And, unlike other global heating solutions, opens Space, allowing us and our biosphere to finally escape our gravity prison.

  37. "We, the people on this planet, are not that effective in supporting life styles and industrial sections in getting sustainable before resources concurrency"

    make sure to lock your concurrent resources with a mutex and all's well.

  38. "One thing I can point out is that there are invariably going to be smaller pockets of people who have no interest in adopting capitalism"

    In Oakland there are two great collective/cooperative bakeries- The Cheeseboard and Arizmendi Bakery (highly recommend the corn cherry scones). Both are super-collective-hippy-loving places that probably don't like the filthy lucre of Capitalism.

    And they both participate in the economy by selling goods at market prices. You don't have to like Capitalism to be a part of the system and for everything to work out just fine.

  39. Yeah that what I say every time I use some piece of technology that was once only available to the super rich. Microwave ovens for example.

  40. "Capitalism is not intended to benefit humanity but the owners of the means of production"

    Capitalism benefits humanity by giving humanity an efficient way to get the things that humanity wants. For example compare the automobiles made by the former USSR versus automobiles made by western Germany.

  41. "not even a debatable subject". The call of every intellectually stunted useful idiot of the left. The science is settled, now everyone shut up – and don't you dare present facts that contradict our conclusion – that violates dogma!

  42. Trickle-down has been a failure in the shadow of which we are living the predicament of today. It's not even a debatable subject

  43. Modeling the AI as a neural network, with perhaps a hippocampus module to generate such emotions as pleasure, pain or fear is possible and I've seen references to such research being done. That could be very useful, though it raises interesting questions…Would it be better for the AI to be driven to look for pleasure or to avoid pain? Perhaps experience pleasure when finding a 'solution' for a question a human asks, or is able to help a person resolve a problem they are having. Pain on failure? Or what about fear if someone asks for specifics on how to build a bomb? Adding emotion into the center of such a powerful system could perhaps create volatile situations…and what about if we have multiple AI's 'competing' to create their own solutions? Interesting to say the least…

  44. Capitalism with limited but strong regulation to protect personal freedoms and property and weed out the bad players, along with state backed infrastructure brings lots of good things.

    Because "capitalism" it's just the natural human behavior of spontaneous exchange of goods and services for mutual gain. We do it without planning it, without so much of a culture. It's as much of a "system" as marriage is. Just the social tissue of conventions built around a natural human behavior.

    Therefore, allowing it to flourish and provide some reasonable limits towards common good is what government is (or should be) about.

    But while government policies can define some reasonable limits to what's legal to buy and sell, in general they shouldn't be telling anyone what to do as a business, set their prices or quotas.

  45. "The premise that a billionfold increase in computer resources would cause minimal change is certainly debatable."

    Heh. I won't debate it. It's wrong, incredible brute force applications would appear immediately, and once we got more adjusted, the refinements would follow rapidly.

    And on AI? I think the real question on an artilect is: Would it have any self-produced motivation?

    I simply cannot see it as anything other that something akin to a genie. Perhaps far more mentally capable than a human ("Yes, master, here are the schematics for the interstellar spacecraft you requested I create."), but so incredibly apathetic that they don't do anything without being directed to do it. With no hormones, glands, and so on, it seems likely the only way we could get them to generate their own motivations would be with some sort of a random number generator . . . and that seems more like jamming the pedal down on very large vehicle on a crowded road and jumping out. Could be good, could be bad, but I'd bet on bad.

    It could be the only practical way to make what we think of as a "classic" AI, as opposed to something more like a genie, would be to duplicate a human mind, perhaps even a very immature one, outside of an organic human brain.

  46. Part of the problem is people seem to refuse to accept the apples versus oranges concept.

    Capitalism describes an economic system, Socialism describes an economic and political system. Another, that calls itself a religion, describes an economic, political, and religious system.

    France is trying to get one such belief system in their country to essentially redefine itself without the political aspect. Time will tell, but I am not sanguine.

    Another big part of the problem is that "pure" systems don't work. If the US, for example, operated on pure Capitalism, you would need to pay to get on the road at the end of your driveway. There would be no public schools, parks, etc. You would need to have a credit card ready when you called the police about an intruder in your home (and hope the intruder can't outbid you for them to stay away). It would be bad. In practice, it would closely resemble pure Anarchy (which usually only lasts long enough for a tyrant (or tyrants) to rise and offer limited security in exchange for total power).

    Every Socialist state resorts to using money, and there has never been a true Communist state above the size of a small tribe.

    We walk in a gray world, and where we draw our lines is really up to us. That makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Those are the people that want to be told what is right and what is wrong, what is black and what is white. Then they place themselves in the hands of people willing to tell them that.

  47. I think you are struggling under the misconception that People are basically good, will maximize their own internal potential with minimal or no incentive, and work together with their own fellow human beings to maximize the potential of their community if there is no 'reputation/ cred' increase when opportunities for individual advancement are simultaneously available. I think you are struggling under the misconception that having a 'ubiquitous' lower-middle-class world for all, well-distributed, would cause all, or any, malcontents to say, "..ok good enough. I'll just be quiet and be a good productive citizen..". I think you are struggling under the misconception that the vast majority of Good things (technological advancements, urban/ building infrastructure, social justice initiatives that actually were codified into law and have significant widespread applicability and quantified benefit) were planned, designed, and executed by average people acting averagely. The only thing that will 'move' society forward and provide widespread benefit is, for better of worse, the crucial and unpredictable of 'trickle-down'. If we accept that it is ok for others to have more than us, that some ne'er-do-wells-though they constantly take way more than they shall ever provide will eventually receive something, though we must incentivize the 'Doers' first always – then the pie will be largest, the absolute value if not relative value, of each piece to all members of society will belargest

  48. How wrong is your premise. Capitalism is never unconstrained, the market for the goods provides the natural constraint – Adam Smith's famous "Invisible Hand". When a small number of capitalists control a market, they can distort it, that's one reason why the Sherman Anti-trust act is so uncontroversial. But regulations also distort the market, and rent seeking laws favoring established players are the currently favored way where the capitalists work WITH the government to control the market by controlling competition. And in the end, the market will find ways around all of the controls, for example the current 'Fight for $15' is spawning economically viable automation in the fast food industry. The minimum wage is always $0.

  49. The premise that a billionfold increase in computer resources would cause minimal change is certainly debatable.

    It has a comparison to the effect that cell phones have already had, as they have already given the individual computer resources far beyond what was available to the previous generation. Has it not yet changed the world?

    Imagine if just a part of the new resource could be dedicated to helping individuals understand the world better by explaining how the various systems and their interactions affect a person in ways meaningful to them? If a person can ask 'the internet' ANY question, and have an AI respond with answers that reflect a rational interpretation of current scientific thinking? And be able to delve deep into various ramifications of these questions to explain things clearly to each individual? And give advice to people on what they can do to use the system to help their own life? Could such a resource help the world become a more sane and orderly, not to mention more joyous place to live?

    OK, OK…. I know there is a LOT of development ahead before we can create AIs that can do such a thing, but I also know that that is what a lot of computer scientists dream of and are working towards being able to do.

    Of course, there IS one fundamental question the AI needs to be able to answer first….and that is "What Is Truth?".

  50. Yeah, true. There are likely lots of folks who won't want to move toward that kind of farming. There could be lots of issues with it, least of all the weather.

  51. Hmm, okay, very good points I hadn't considered. Oddly enough, I eat a mostly plant-based diet. I'm all for cultures meats once they're ready for production and can be shown not to have any weird side effects. I really want to try some cultured meats! I was thinking that perhaps land being used for feed crops, if/as the need for that decreases, could be used for other things such as green spaces or efficient and well-planbed living spaces, but I guess that's just my preference and is rather unrealistic. xD

  52. The usual image of skyscraper farms is mostly nonsense for the forseeable future. Land is too abundant and cheap outside of cities (though some high-population-density nations might need to make heavy use of greenhouses if they keep growing) for that to be necessary or economically viable for most food production.

    Besides – vast tracts of land are now devoted to growing feed crops for cows and pigs. Some projections have animal meat falling to 40% of the total by 2040 (~60% of today's meat production) as we get cheaper plant-based meat substitutes and cultured (tank-grown) meat. About half of US corn acres are used to make ethanol of questionable energy and climate value, the legacy of an early attempt at energy independence pre-fracking. Millions of those acres – especially those far from cities – might eventually go back to nature.

  53. I keep thinking that AI researchers will develop deep-learning-trained "generic function" modules that can be plugged together to get a new training task a large fraction of the way along without re-inventing the wheel from scratch every time.

    Not just "transfer learning" by starting a new task with a network trained on a similar task, but actually abstracting some broadly applicable "deep functions".

    IDK, maybe they need to train a network to recognize and abstract those deep functions across a large number of diverse well-trained modules?

  54. … if structures stand bad weather (hurricane alley), social, ideological or religious conflicts and are supported even with educated people leaving for industrialized countries? Maybe one solution for suited areas. Go for it, where it makes sense …
    But maybe for some it's just getting a reinvention of stacked growth like inside rain forests on (energy intense) technological terms and investments?

  55. …But Captalism without constraints is aimless in the good it brings. Capitalism is not intended to benefit humanity but the owners of the means of production, the synchronization here is far from complete or even sufficient.
    What is needed is Capitalism that is constraint to bring the best to humanity with minimal constraints. Contraints that become unnecessary should be quickly removed and adapted and on the same , well thought off necessary constraints should also be quickly put in place.
    Mega computing can help in that.
    Examples of regulations that benefitted humanity and steer the capitalist system to a better course are the ones that discouraged cigarette smoking, environmental regulations helping the private sector get into the space business, minimum wage and even ones, despite all their flaws that can be fixed, that help low income people to have housing.

  56. We, the people on this planet, are not that effective in supporting life styles and industrial sections in getting sustainable before resources concurrency becomes a development limiting mass phenomenon. Even machines in agricultural branches are mostly on fossil fuels reducing areal efficiency with decreasing water availability and increasing soil losses because of climate effects. Agricultural fuels will also reduce areal efficiency for food provision.
    At what pace is engagement for water desalination/water conditioning and carbon/climate effect reduced fuels or drivetrains. Back to manual labor is not a chance for all animals and plants and surplus 7.77 billion human residents, average 31 years old, on planet Earth? India will catch up with China in 2023 considering inhabitants ("issue of getting electricity to 700 million people"). Ethiopia has increasing yearly electricity demand on a 30percent rate and coming next years worldwide smartphone batteries (on weekly charging cycle level) will need around 1/10 -1/15 of this country yearly electricity production (given that it's one of the lowest electricity production/consumption levels worldwide for a nation). Inhabitants of Ethiopia are over 100 million people.
    The introducing picture reminds on "Lucy" movie?

  57. There's a lot to unpack, here. Interesting rumination on how the world might undergo positive change more quickly. There are a ton of facets to that.

    One thing I can point out is that there are invariably going to be smaller pockets of people who have no interest in adopting capitalism, at least at first, as they've no need of it and already live in a society with less a less restrictive nature. A very, VERY extreme version of this would be the people on North Sentinel Island (then again, I wouldn't know, never having been there lol!).

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