Do We Need AI Government? – Part 2

(read Part 1 here)

I have seen it many times while watching chess commentators (typically, Grandmasters of the highest level) performing game analysis in real time.  These GMs will be considering different possibilities for both sides and, infrequently, when the situation becomes too complex and unclear, say something like, “Hey, let’s check with the chess engine now…. Oh, it gives a strong advantage to White, but I don’t see why…. It says to do… WHAT?!  And then… WHAT?! No…. these are not “human-like moves”, the players will not do that. This is too deep and machine-like…”.

The truth is that even the strongest Grandmasters often feel like little children when comparing their own analysis to that of a machine. But this is exactly why they are using machine analysis!

Lucky for chess, nobody suspects that “Stockfish” or “AlfaZero” have some ulterior motives, biases, don’t like some of the players, or wants to take advantage of somebody.  Chess engines are considered to be fast, powerful, accurate, and objective analysis and decision-making tools capable of finding the best solution for any situation and being useful to us by simply being better than us.  And nothing else.

And this is exactly how the future AI governments should look like: fast, powerful, accurate, and objective analysis and decision-making TOOLS capable of finding the best solution for any situation and being useful to us by being better than us. And nothing else.

Machine learning (ML) might already offer a possible approach needed to build and test such an “AI governance engine” and create the entire democratic election process using ML’s normal training and testing approach and steps:

  • Provide the “governance engine” with a training dataset of historical or other examples that are of high value to us and explain how to classify them (for example, “bad” or “good”).  Cover important social, economic, judicial, cultural, and educational fields.  For example, imagine thousands upon thousands of statements or questions along with their classifiers/answers presented like this:
    • “Rosa Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake’s order to relinquish her seat in the “colored section” to a white passenger.  Was she right or should she have stayed in the colored section?”. The answer: Rosa Parks was right. The driver was wrong.
    • Or, “greater investments in children education” are good. Cutting these investments is bad.
    • Cutting forest in Amazon delta is bad.  Reducing industrial water and air pollution is good.

We have tons of examples like this from our past and present.

  • Keep another dataset of examples with answers for testing. We will use it later to verify that the engine works well.

(Comment: The general population should take part in creating the above list of Q&A.  Millions of people can contribute to it. This will allow the people to have a very direct impact on the training and selection of their own government instead of choosing the best available but imperfect candidate) Continue reading

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2019 Meetings and Conferences on AI, Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, Data Science, Machine Learning, AR/VR/XR/MR

If you plan to attend a meeting or a conference on AI, Big Data, Machine Learning, or a related subject in 2019 or want to read or publish a paper on these subjects, below are some resources for you to use.

Conferences:

I personally doubt that the world needs that many events on this (or any other) subject in one year (and the list will get longer over time, I am sure), but, at least, there are lots of options to chose  from:

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Weekly Global Tech News, March 18, 2019

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

Hi Folks,

For those of you in the US, you are enjoying the loss of an hour in the mornning but gaining an ‘extra’ hour in the evening which will come in handy this summer!  After this weeks’ ‘bomb cyclone’ snowstorm, I for one, cannot wait for warmer weather to finally take hold…

Toshiba’s (relatively) mature 9D helium filled nearline HDD makes their 16TB MG-08 offering compelling.  It also smooths their path to 18TB using MAMR and TDMR (dual readers on a single track) as the capacity leap does not require a corresponding mechanical redesign.   For more on their overall corporate roadmap, here’s their technology presentation from Nov 22 2018.

This week, the Open Compute Project held their annual global summit (OCP 2019).  They focused on how to advance ‘open’ data center designs from a speed, security and performance perspective.  There were a lot of good talks, but nothing overly groundbreaking that I could find. These guys have a lot going on…   Here is a link to some of the talks.

Here’s an interesting discussion by Mark Webb (MKW Ventures) on memory cycling vs its associated specifications.  For those of us in the memory biz, it is clear that there is a strong relationship between write and read latency and the associated system error rate.  Mark elaborates specifically on how this works for NAND flash and why a single ‘memory cycle spec’ is sufficient to specify system performance…

Continue reading

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Weekly Global Tech News, March 11, 2019

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

Hi Folks,

The days are getting longer and we will soon shift an hour to daylight savings time here in the US.  It’s a sign that summertime is right around the corner, so I hope you find something fun to enjoy outside in celebration.    Here are some technology highlights from the weeks’ news that you might find interesting.

Last week, I gave a brief summary, but here’s a little more color on WDC’s ‘Storage Field Day’ from Tom Coughlin who attended the event.    Enjoy!

For those of us in the storage biz, this news should be encouraging and is in-line with our expectations for a rebound in storage demand starting in the second half of CY19, driven by 5G, IoT and AI.    It is certainly fitting that server storage and cloud lead the way in this next growth cycle.

This startup has a vision to flatten the storage pyramid and consolidate data on an exa-scale with an all solid-state, NVMe based approach.  Their initial product set looks interesting so this may be a company to watch as they start delivering to their vision.

If speed is your only criteria, then NVMe wins hands down due to its raw speed, deep queue capabilities and many parallel data lanes.  This, in addition to the new ‘SD Express‘ protocols will put pressure on SATA product volumes in coming years.

Source: Enterprise Storage Forum

The advent of 5G communication will bring an explosion of IoT based instrumentation and this, in turn, will drive innovation and prices down for everything in that ecosystem.  It seems inevitable that printed sensors will be at least part of the solution.  Bring it on!    Here’s an article discussing recent advances in this area. 

Continue reading

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Weekly Global Tech News, March 5, 2019

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

Hi Folks,

Western Digital sponsored a ‘Tech Field Day’ yesterday and elaborated on their HDD, SSD and datacenter strategies.  Nothing too earth-shattering was presented, but the video presos are worth a look if you have time.  They remain bullish on 97mm disks and MAMR for 16 and 20TB HDD’s, but were rightly questioned about performance and reliability issues around dual-actuator HDD’s (actually 2 drives inside a single enclosure).  I particularly liked their datacenter N-series architecture as it seems to be a low latency, extensible approach to storage management.

This is what 1TB looks like nowadays – MicroSD (HDD folks, eat your hearts out)!  The products were announced this week at MWC ’19 by both Micron and SanDisk.  Micron is using QLC flash so beware your write duty cycle on this one.  At 90-95 MB/s write speeds and even faster read speeds, these little devices are fast enough for consumer products.   Next year… 2TB is likely!

However, later this year, we should begin to see products using the new MicroSD Express protocol (an PCIe/NVMe derivative) which will have up to 985 MB/s write speeds.  Now that is speed!  (Note this new SD spec allows backward compatibility with today’s SD/MicroSD cards.)   Too bad most phones and other peripherals won’t soon have all the associated drivers to take advantage of this speed… yet!

Source: SD Association

As we enter the IoT era, it is going to be critical to have processors with some amount of non-volatile memory onboard.  This proof of concept chip brings it all together: Very low power CMOS processor, SRAM and ReRAM.  Switching times between power modes is incredibly fast… 2 clock cycles.   The ReRAM also demonstrated 5 distinct resistance levels and 2.3 bits/cell which may also be useful for AI and other neural network applications in a more analog storage regime…

Source: EE Times, CEA-Leti

Since hot trends in memory is mostly solid-state these days, it is fitting that a few papers on storage were presented at the recent ISSCC (Int’l Solid State Circuits Conf).  Jim Handy did a great job summarizing key flash papers from Toshiba, Samsung and Western Digital as well as highlights on SRAM and DRAM developments.  The highlight from these papers was (to me at least) the capability of selecting either SLC, TLC or QLC configurations depending on the quality of the die.  This capability is going to be a huge breakthrough for device yields.  Now all they need is user programmable capacities using this capability – like ‘host managed’ HDD architectures (and I am sure they are working on that)!

Here’s a great article on how memory architectures are changing with the use of Storage Class Memories like MRAM, ReRAM and others.   It’s nice to see fab capital equipment makers like LAM Research beginning to integrate memory fabrication into their mainstream equipment.   These new designs will accelerate growth of IoT and edge compute in the 5G wireless era!

Continue reading

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Weekly Global Tech News, February 25, 2019

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

Hi Folks,

Well, the week has passed rapidly and the days are a bit longer for us here in the US, but it is not feeling like spring quite yet.  My bike is slowly rusting in the garage!  I thought the groundhog saw his shadow the other day, but it looks like he was wrong and is probably comfortably back inside his burrow by now.

Enjoy these snippets from the week’s news:

It looks like Showa Denko has delivered their MAMR media technology   That should enable Toshiba to achieve 2TB/D (18TB on their 9D platform in CY19).  It’s nice to see ‘energy assist recording’ working on both aluminum and glass substrates as that should expand market options somewhat for those cost reduced lower platter count drives.

The generation of both structured and unstructured data continues to grow at a 30% + CAGR, meaning we will be entering the zettabyte 10^21 bytes) regime shortly.  Here’s the Storage Newsletter post, but you have to pay $$$ for the actual IDC report.

To underscore the exponential growth of data through the next few years, TSMC is deep into its EUV process development for 7nm and below geometries.   They are also going to offer both eMRAM and eRRAM on their 22nm finFET process this year  This gets them comparable with other foundries that offer embedded NVM (Samsung and Global Foundries).  These capabilities will support the upcoming surge in demand for low power IoT and edge computing devices in coming years.

Source: Intel

Intel says they are ready with eMRAM and claim a 10 year data retention at 200C and over 1 million switching cycles!  This may not yet be an SRAM or DRAM replacement, but it is certainly improving over earlier MRAM devices although their write switching times continue to look problematic.

Continue reading

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Weekly Global Tech News, February 18, 2019

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

Hi Folks,

It’s been another glorious week in Colorado.. sunshine and wind on the plains and snow in the mountains.  Thanks to California for leaving just a little bit of water in the storms to dump on our Rockies to fill our reservoirs.  Next week promises cold and snow even for us on the plains…

It looks like Hoya is busy building more factories for HDD glass substrates, this time in Laos to compliment their existing factories in Vietnam and Thailand.  It looks like two factors are driving this expansion:  More 3.5″ disks in each enterprise HDD means thinner substrates and the need for high Tg glass to allow for the HAMR flash annealing process.  Aluminum subs remain cheaper, so it is likely that lower platter count HDD’s (non-HAMR) will stay with Al.

Here is a fascinating article by Osaka Univ. on lowering power consumption at high datarates in MRAM devices.  This is early work, but it once again highlights the wide ranging potential for spintronic devices.

Image source: CNRS News

At the 64th IEDM conference this past December, the next ‘big thing’ could be the introduction of in-memory computing using both analog and digital memory methodologies to handle the vast amount of data generated by neuromorphic, IoT and other computations.  There is a lot of work to develop RRAM as both an analog and digital memory element (by manipulating the various set/reset pulse shapes) which would be a huge step forward in compute.   Consider how the introduction of in-memory compute would revolutionize edge computing and many of today’s memory/latency bottlenecks!

A sign of the (current) times with global notebook shipments declining and gaming notebook shipments slowing but, in a sign that there will be an upcoming 5G boom later this year that should drive demand, Nokia and others are seeing lots of demand for their 5G systems and components.  Just look at this roadmap from Qualcomm for examples.

Continue reading

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Weekly Global Tech News, February 11, 2019

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

Hi Folks,

It’s been mighty cold here in Colorado this week… -23C here this morning, but as is typical for Colorado, we will be barbecuing in shorts by Saturday(I hope)!   Here are a few tech tidbits from the week’s news that I think you will enjoy.

Source: Google

This quarter, we saw that major cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft and Google are increasing their spend on data center infrastructure.   These guys see the coming boom in IoT and 5G and will be ready when that next data wave hits!   Does this mean data center storage?  Not sure, but eventually this infrastructure gets filled with storage, so the demand will come.

At last month’s DesignCon in Santa Clara,CA, there was a fair amount of talk about 5G,  IoT and edge computing.  Tom Coughlin expounded on how edge computing will enhance the cloud and likely drive the next big boom in storage demand.

With the cost of SSD’s plummeting in today’s oversupply environment, it may be time to upgrade your PC or get a new one.    Here’s an analysis of some pretty competitively priced NVMe drives that look like good upgrade drives.  Get ’em while the pricing is right!

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Weekly Global Tech News, February 5, 2019

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

Hi Folks,

I hope everyone had a great week.  Here are a few interesting technical snippets from the news that I found interesting.  Hopefully you will enjoy these as you relax this weekend.   Cheers!

Source: Huawei

Here’s a bold prediction from HPE.  They are correct that storage class memory will become a dominant memory element, but I don’t see their original focus on memristors as the ultimate solution.  There will be technology churn in delivering this vision as eMRAM, eFRAM and other solutions vie for dominance.  Plus, it may take a decade or more for these kinds of predictions to sort themselves out and become the dominant direction.  This industry has a lot of inertia, so change comes slowly.

As the next generation smartphone rolls out with these eUFS embedded flash chips, plus any external memory you add, should allow more high def video taken using those embedded 20+MP cameras!   That means more external storage to store it all as well as further cloud storage growth!  Bring it on!

Source: Anandtech

Here’s a nice performance comparison of the latest Intel W-3175X Xeon server CPU.    It’s interesting to note that the chip module itself costs a few thousand dollars and it can consume up to 1KW when running all cores at >4GHz overclocked.  Yikes!  You might want to consider liquid cooling (or moving to the south pole) for this baby!

Continue reading

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