Find out why the world has almost 7 billion idle supercomputers

Supercomputer

With so many problems to solve you’d wonder why so many supercomputers are sitting ideal. Why can’t we use them to solve world hunger, create lasting peace and fix climate change.  7 Billion Supercomputers have a lot of processing power that could address obesity, population growth, premature ageing and disease, and yet most are operating in maintenance mode, just doing enough to keep their programs running in the background. Will the world rise up and demand action?

Let’s first take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves what can we do about it?

You see the human brain is still better than the worlds best supercomputer. This was proven when Gary Kasparov beat IBM’s Deep Blue chess playing supercomputer in 1996 and Deep Blue barely won the second rematch in 1997. Gary proving his superior intellect refused a final deciding rematch. Furthermore in a show of superior processing power, Gary gets up and walks away on his two legs (yes, there needs to be a separate supercomputer to master walking the way humans do)

IBM’s Deep Blue was built specifically to play chess and as you probably guessed, it was programmed by a human brain (actually a team of brains). Its sole purpose was to beat the worlds best chess player and it still struggled on the rematch even though it was able to evaluate 200 million positions per second. It only had to focus on a single task and was barely capable, however it’s most likely Deep Blue would have improved over the years due to the availability of  increased processing power.

More recently IBM developed a supercomputer program called Watson and in 2011 it took on the very best Jeopardy players we have seen and it won. But again Watson is confined to a room and needed input from humans; it actually digested the entire Wikipedia to build it’s knowledge bank.

Thanks to Moore’s Law supercomputers are expected to reach the processing power of a human brain by around 2018, but fear not, a supercomputer will still fill an entire room and use an enormous amount of energy to produce the same processing power equal to our brain. A human brain uses around 100 Watts of energy to function while a supercomputer currently needs 10,000,000 watts or 10 Megawatts of power.

We are the most efficient supercomputers known to man and yet most of us just run through the paces of life. Just trying to get through to the next weekend where we can have some downtime and prepare ourselves for the working week ahead. If this is your life then you are not living up to your potential. You can be so much more but you need to find a way to get out of the rat race and free up some thinking time to solve complex problems. We can all do it.

Take for instance a game called Foldit, where you contribute to scientific research by solving spatial problems that are much too time consuming for a normal supercomputer and besides time you just need to bring your brain; on the job training is provided. The objective of the game is to fold protein structures (think long ribbons with things sticking out) as tightly as you can, using the various tools provided within the game. More points are given for the degree of compactness the protein fold and there is a global tally board to see how well you rank worldwide. One of the best protein folders in the happens to be a rehab assistant from England, who works during the day and plays at night. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to contribute to humanity in a positive way, you just need time and your personal supercomputer.

There are many urgent problems to solve in the world today and if we all combine our supercomputing powers we can possibly solve world hunger, create lasting peace and fix climate change while addressing obesity, population growth, premature ageing and disease. You see there is a long list of problems that if solved can benefit humanity.

The real question is, are you prepared to find the time today, to contribute, or will you wait for decades to pass so the supercomputers become the thought leaders and do the difficult work that most of us ignore. I know you can help, you just need to look in the mirror and see the real potential within.

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