Sergey Brin, co-founder of one of the most successful company on earth, stated a boom in computing has led to an era he calls “technology renaissance.” In a letter to investors, Brin said:
“Every month, there are stunning new applications and transformative new techniques. In this sense, we are truly in a technology renaissance, an exciting time where we can see applications across nearly every segment of modern society.”
Ethereum has partly contributed, he said, by driving demand for better GPU processors, which in turn have allowed for more powerful machine learning.
“There are several factors at play in this boom of computing,” Brin said before citing Moore’s Law to further add:
“The second factor is greater demand… from the GPU-friendly proof-of-work algorithms found in some of today’s leading cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum.
However, the third and most important factor is the profound revolution in machine learning that has been building over the past decade.
It is both made possible by these increasingly powerful processors and is also the major impetus for developing them further.”
His main focus was machine/bot learning, otherwise known as artificial intelligence. Google runs what is probably the world’s most complex machine learning algorithm in organizing search results, but Brin says it is used in many areas, such as to:
- Understand images in Google Photos;
- Enable Waymo cars to recognise and distinguish objects safely;
- Significantly improve sound and camera quality in our hardware;
- Understand and produce speech for Google Home
- Translate over 100 languages in Google Translate;
- Caption over a billion videos in 10 languages on YouTube;
- Improve the efficiency of our data centers;
- Suggest short replies to emails;
- Help doctors diagnose diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy;
- Discover new planetary systems;
- Create better neural networks (AutoML);
- … and much more.
His letter opens with the classic “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” but it might be most notable for declaring a renaissance.
A number of technological advances during the past century are congregating to form a powerful set of tools that ultimately, in effect, extend man’s intellect.
In that they provide machines, bots, or any inanimate matter, with basic memory through computer chips, an ability to “feel” or be “aware” of surroundings through sensors, an ability to “communicate” through wi-fi, and then an ability to “act” through blockchain tech smart contracts which further give them “money,” thus allowing them to transfer value.
That, combined with a potentially peaceful global climate, might suggest we are about to enter a golden age of a kind, the human kind, has never previously seen.
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