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June 13 2018

How to get empowered, not overpowered, by AI | Max Tegmark
Many artificial intelligence researchers expect AI to outsmart humans at all tasks and jobs within decades, enabling a future where we're restricted only by the laws of physics, not the limits of our intelligence. MIT physicist and AI researcher Max Tegmark separates the real opportunities and threats from the myths, describing the concrete steps we should take today to ensure that AI ends up being the best -- rather than worst -- thing to ever happen to humanity.
Why Trump Could Pardon Jack Johnson When Obama Wouldn’t

June 12 2018


Summit supercomputer is world’s fastest

(credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

Summit — the world’s most powerful supercomputer, with a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second, or 200 petaflops* peak performance — was announced June 8 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The previous leading supercomputer was China’s Sunway TaihuLight, with 125 petaflops peak performance.**

Summit will enable researchers to apply techniques like machine learning and deep learning to problems in human health such as genetics and cancer, high-energy physics (such as astrophysics and fusion energy), discovery of new materials, climate modeling, and other scientific discoveries that were previously impractical or impossible, according to ORNL.

“It’s at least a hundred times more computation than we’ve been able to do on earlier machines,” said ORNL computational astrophysicist Bronson Messer.

Summit supercomputer chips (credit: ORNL)

Summit’s IBM system has more than 10 petabytes (10,000 trillion bytes) of memory and 4,608 servers — each containing two 22-core IBM Power9 processors and six NVIDIA Tesla V100 graphics processing unit (GPU) accelerators. (“For IBM, Summit represents a great opportunity to showcase its Power9-GPU AC922 server to other potential HPC  and enterprise customers,” notes Michael Feldman, Managing Editor of Top 500 News.)

Exascale next

Summit will be eight times more powerful than ORNL’s previous top-ranked system, Titan. For certain scientific applications, Summit will also be capable of more than three billion billion mixed-precision calculations per second, or 3.3 exaops.

Summit is a step closer to the U.S. goal of creating an exascale (1 exaflop* or 1,000 petaflops) supercomputing system by 2021. (However, China has multiple exaflop projects expected to be running a year or more before the U.S. has a system at that level, according to EE Times.)

Summit is part of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at DOE’s Office of Science .

(credit: ORNL)

* A petaflop is 1015 (1000 trillion) floating point operations per second (“floating point” refers to the large number of decimal-point locations required for the wide range or numbers used in scientific calculations, including very small numbers and very large numbers). An exaflop is 1018 floating point operations per second.

** The “peak” rating refers to a supercomputer’s theoretical maximum performance. A more meaningful measure is “Rmax” — a score that describes a supercomputer’s maximal measured performance on a Linpack benchmark. Rmax for the Summit has not yet been announced.

What we'll learn about the brain in the next century | Sam Rodriques
In this imaginative talk, neuroengineer Sam Rodriques takes us on a thrilling tour of the next 100 years in brain science. He envisions strange (and sometimes frightening) innovations that may be the key to understanding and treating brain disease -- like lasers that drill tiny holes in our skulls and allow probes to study the electrical activity of our neurons.
The journey through loss and grief | Jason B. Rosenthal
In her brutally honest, ironically funny and widely read meditation on death, "You May Want to Marry My Husband," the late author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal gave her husband Jason very public permission to move on and find happiness. A year after her death, Jason offers candid insights on the often excruciating process of moving through and with loss -- as well as some quiet wisdom for anyone else experiencing life-changing grief.
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June 11 2018

Why the secret to success is setting the right goals | John Doerr
Our leaders and institutions are failing us, but it's not always because they're bad or unethical, says venture capitalist John Doerr -- often, it's simply because they're leading us toward the wrong objectives. In this practical talk, Doerr shows us how we can get back on track with "Objectives and Key Results," or OKRs -- a goal-setting system that's been employed by the likes of Google, Intel and Bono to set and execute on audacious goals. Learn more about how setting the right goals can mean the difference between success and failure -- and how we can use OKRs to hold our leaders and ourselves accountable.
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