Quantum, Artificial Intelligence, Dilbert and Duct Tape
Moore’s Law is dead; long live whatever succeeds it.
This is almost like an end-of-year bonus—writing about artificial intelligence, quantum technology, robotics and even electronic warfare. I miss Moore’s Law, which showed computing/processing speeds doubling every two years. And even that was a moving target—after all, two years down the road was somewhere nebulous.
Then, I wake up to press announcements December 10-11 that seem to show Moore’s Law of 24 months definitely has been revamped. Wow … and here I was blissfully thinking under Moore’s Law that, no matter what I said or wrote, I always had two years before being proved wrong. But I, like millions of others, was busy stimulating the global economy during this holiday season and was caught unaware though forewarned.
During these two critical days, MIT announced a major breakthrough in artificial intelligence (AI) whereby machines were learning quicker than humans. This entailed approaching artificial learning using a Bayesian Program Learning (BPL) model. If you have been following the recent Dilbert cartoons, they show the dangers of AI in robots.
My recommendation, while thinking of it, is to start stockpiling WD-40, duct tape and cans of coffee. There is nothing in this world that moves that cannot be fixed with the first two. If it is supposed to move and does not, then use WD-40. If it moves and it should not, then use the duct tape. If those fail, in a world of anarchy cans of coffee can be traded for most everything except maybe beer and toilet tissue. Come to think of it, add toilet tissue to that stockpile.
Then, the very next day Google announced it has conquered Quantum computing with a Quantum computer named D-Wave. In keeping with today’s political correctness schemes, engineers did not assign a gender pronoun to it. But D-Wave makes me think of the human named Dave trying to regain control of his spaceship from a computer forced to protect him in Arthur Clarke’s 2001: a Space Odyssey published in 1968. To help with this analogy, D-Wave lives in isolated cold in a NASA Lab, which I mentioned in my June 11th blog, “The Clash of Two Physics.”
Google has been identified publicly in its quest for business growth in quantum technology, artificial intelligence and robotics. This commercial giant is not alone. A lot of major industries, labs and large academic campuses such as IBM, Microsoft, defense labs and Lockheed Martin are pouring research dollars into AI, quantum technologies and robotics. With increases in minimum wage coming, a rumor has emerged that we might be seeing the fast food industry becoming another R&D arm of AI and quantum.
By the way, those clicking, clattering, clanking noises you hear are the AI robots along the edges fighting the extreme cold required for their quantum brains to work as they wait for the call. Long live Dilbert!
David E. Meadows, MBA, MS, is a retired U.S. Navy captain and the author of The Sixth Fleet, Task Force America, Seawolf and Final Run.