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University of Tennessee researchers hoping to cure coronavirus – 247Sports

Two researchers from the University of Tennessee have discovered a chemical compound that soon will be further testedand ultimately couldlead to a possible cure for coronavirus.With the help of Summit, the world'smost powerful supercomputer,through a partnership between the University of Tennessee and the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, researcherstested how more than 8,000 chemical compounds interacted with the virus, according to a report this week from Knoxville's WBIR-TV.

Jeremy Smith and Micholas D. Smith, a post-doctoral fellow and soon-to-be research professor at UT, began searching for molecules that could be used to stop thecoronavirus from binding and infecting healthy cells, according to Knoxville's WATE-TV.Their experiments found 77 compounds that had the potential to help with future research on the virus.

Jeremy Smith, Governors Chair at theUT and director of the UT/ORNL Center for Molecular Biophysics, told WBIR that the supercomputer made the recent research possible. Summit canoperate as fast as 100,000 laptop computers working at the same time.

Summit was needed to rapidly get the simulation results we needed," Jeremy Smith told the TV station. "It took us a day or two, whereas it would have taken months on a normal computer."

Jeremy Smith told WATE that thisquick, digital testing has workedin the pastin finding treatment for diabetes and osteoporosis.

The chemicals they researched stick to the part of the virus that connects with cells, interfering with the virus's ability to bind to cells and spread.Although the researchers' findingsmight not be a cure, they will help to guide future experiments on the virus.

The coronavirus is part of the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which surfaced in 2002, causing an international outbreak that resulted in hundreds of deaths. The researchersdecided to experiment with compounds, according to WBIR, by looking at chemicals that researchers used in the fight against SARS.

They ranked compounds of interest that could have value in experimental studies of the virus, according to a report from the Oak Ridger, and published their results on ChemRxiv.

The next step in the process is to test the digital remedy on an actual sample. That step includes an expert at the UT Health Science Center in Memphis, Colleen Johnson, according to WATE. The testing would be conducted on an actual coronavirus sample in the coming days in a controlled environment, according to the report.

According to WATE, theresearch has been slowed, ironically, because Johnsonand Micholas D. Smith both have been battling the flu throughout their work.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency Thursday as coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, including Tennessee. The World Health Organization announced Wednesday that COVID-19 had become a global pandemic.

The virusresulted in the cancellation ofthe remaining games ofthe SEC men's basketball tournament in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday. The SEC also has suspended regular-season competition in all sports through March 30.

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University of Tennessee researchers hoping to cure coronavirus - 247Sports

JUSTUS 2 Supercomputer from NEC Deployed at University of Ulm – insideHPC

NEC has deployed a new supercomputer at the University of Ulm in Germany. With a peak performance of 2 petaflops, the 4.4 million euro JUSTUS 2 system will enable complex simulations in chemistry and quantum physics.

JUSTUS 2 enables highly complex computer simulations at the molecular and atomic level, for example from chemistry and quantum science, as well as complex data analysis. And this with significantly higher energy efficiency than its predecessor, said Ulrich Steinbach. The new high-performance computer will be available to researchers from all over Baden-Wrttemberg and is therefore particularly with regard to battery research a very sensible investment in the future of our science and business location.

JUSTUS 2 is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. With 33,696 CPU cores, the system is expected to deliver a five-fold increase in performance compared to its predecessor.

The combination of HPC simulation and data evaluation with methods of artificial intelligence brings a new quality in the use of high-performance computers and NEC is at the forefront of this development, added Yuichi Kojima, managing director of NEC Deutschland GmbH.

Weighing 13 tons in total,JUSTUS 2 has 702 nodes with two processors each. Named after the German chemist Justus von Liebig, JUSTUS 2 was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the state of Baden-Wrttemberg and the universities of Ulm, Stuttgart and Freiburg.

High-performance computing is essential, especially at a science and technology-oriented university like Ulm, said computer science professor and university president Professor Michael Weber. Therefore, JUSTUS 2 is a significant investment in the future of our strategic development areas and beyond.

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JUSTUS 2 Supercomputer from NEC Deployed at University of Ulm - insideHPC

How this South Korean company created coronavirus test kits in three weeks – CNN

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Continued here:

How this South Korean company created coronavirus test kits in three weeks - CNN

‘Devs’: Every Question (and Theory) We Have for Alex Garland’s Sci-Fi Series – Collider.com

Spoilers ahead through Episode 3

Devs, the new sci-fi series from up-and-coming paragon on the genre on the big and small screen Alex Garland, is poised to be the next big water-cooler drama in an era of post-water-cooler television. Episodes of the heady show are available to stream now thanks to the newly launched FX on Hulu streaming channel, but weve already got a ton of questions that we hope Devs will answer. Stay tuned to this post because well be updating it with answers, more questions, and a validity check on our theories along the way.

Devs follows the story of a young software engineer, Lily Chan (Sonoya Mizuno), who investigates the secretive development division of her employer which she believes is behind the murder of her boyfriend Sergei (Karl Glusman). Devs also stars Nick Offerman, Jin Ha, Zach Grenier, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Cailee Spaeny and Alison Pill. The new limited series, produced by FX Productions, will attempt to do all this in just eight episodes. But first

*Spoilers ahead*

Image via Miya Mizuno/FX

Our entry point into the world of Devs is Sergei, a gifted programmer who finds himself in way over his head as he gains access to the highly secure and secretive Devs program within the company he works for, Amaya. Sergeis exemplary work had to do with mapping the behavior of a simple nematode into a computer program, to the point that the A.I. was able to predict the creatures behavior to nearly 100% without any direct connections between the two to give feedback. The impressive feat was only hampered by the limitation of a 30-second predictive window, but that was good enough for Forest to invite Sergei into Devs.

However, that wasnt good enough for security chief, Kenton (Grenier). His xenophobic paranoia proved to be correct since Sergei turned out to be a Russian spy tasked with recording whatever was going on in the Devs program. And what exactly that was, well, we still dont know, but Sergeis watch and phone captured enough footage of the code streaming across the Devs monitors to not only entice the Russians but to sign Sergeis death warrant. Its not long at all before Sergei is suffocated to death on the companys campus by Kenton, with Forest and Katie (Pill) complicit in the murder. But why?

Image via Raymond Liu/FX

While waiting for Sergei to come home, Lily can be seen reading a copy of D.F. Jones 1966 sci-fi novel Colossus. And that should be a big, big clue for just whats going on beneath the surface here. The novel tells of the titular super-computer that is given oversight and control of the American nuclear missile armament. Colossus soon links up with a similar super-computer in the Soviet Union, but its using increasingly devious manipulations of human behavior to do so. In the end, Colossus and the super-computers rein supreme even as the humans attempt to subvert them in a multi-year plan, but it seems certain that the computers will out-last them. In the end, the computers final message suggests the futility of humankinds efforts from here on out: In time you will come to regard me not only with respect and awe, but with love. Is the point of the Devs program actually a cold war arms race of sorts between humans and super-advanced A.I.? The Devs facility itself resembles a super-sized version of a computer processing unit, so the visuals and the narrative clues certainly point towards this possibility.

My colleague Adam Chitwood has his own theory on this one; it is as follows:

Another possible theory is that the Devs program has discovered that life on Earth is actually a simulation. When Sergei first reads the code, he is tremendously upset. Like, try-to-rip-your-eyes-out-of-your-skull-and-vomit upset. After Forest has Sergei killed, theres a scene in which he and Katie are sitting outside Devs having a conversation. At first it seems like theyre just upset about having to kill Sergei, but the conversation is laced with something deeper. Even more troubling.

What are we supposed to do? Unravel a lifetime of moral experience? Unlearn what has always seemed true? Katie says to Forest. These things, they run deep. Its like whatever we know, the things we feel are still locked inside us. She goes on to draw a parallel to an atheist whose child gets hurt and starts praying, which we learn later relates to Forest having lost his daughter. But could she be talking about how theyre finding it difficult to unlearn this lifetime of moral experience now that they know nothing matters because theyre in a simulation? Did they really kill Sergei if Sergei didnt actually exist to begin with?

Image via Raymond Liu/FX

This thread continues when Forest is talking to Kenton about how he doesnt care about money or the environment anymore. Again, if he knows theyre in a simulation, that would explain why these things dont matter to him right now.

As this theory relates to the end of Episode 2, the backward projection project, are they trying to basically pull up a screengrab from an earlier experience from the simulation? We see them conjure a fuzzy image of Jesus of Nazareth being crucified. What if this isnt a painting or a time travel device? What if its literally like the highlights section on a video game? Adam Chitwood

But theres another possibility. At one point, before Sergeis demise, Forest asks him why he thinks his predictive program falls apart after 30 seconds. Sergei supposes that perhaps the calculations are just too great, that the numbers literally go insane after a certain point; Forest is on board with this theory. When Sergei suggests a separate hypothesis, that this might be a multi-verse problem in which the predicted behavior and the observed behavior actually line up perfectly, just not in this universe, Forest is more skeptical. However, this might be a misdirection. Garland talked about just what scientific concepts interested him in developing the Devs story:

In this case, it was about determinism, but it was specifically about quantum physics. It was about some elements and some implications of quantum physics, to do with interpretations of some strange things, like particles having super positions and one of those interpretations relating to many worlds. To me, those ideas are not dry scientific ideas. Theyre rather poetic, philosophical ideas. As soon as you can get that, then suddenly, the story feels naturally a part of it.

So the whole thing might just be about quantum states after all. Forest comes clean to a senator in the third episode, saying theyre using their quantum system to develop a prediction algorithm of sorts, predicting the weather and things like that. Clearly theres more going on than meets the eye here. And yet, the question remains

Image via FX

The problem with the people who run tech companies they become fanatics and end up thinking theyre messiahs. ~ Lily

Forest is the CEO of Amaya and the lead for the Devs program, but he often feels as if hes resigned to being led along his own invisible tram line rather than fighting against it. For all his quirky charm, he seems very human, vulnerably so. Hes got a visual style that shares much more in common with Pete, the homeless man who lives on Lily and Sergeis apartment steps, than any of his employees or colleagues. He drives an outdated, ecologically insulting car; he lives in a rather pedestrian home that belies just how much hes worth; and he holds onto his traumatic past despite his protests to the contrary. He seems constantly unsure of himself, of what to do next, of what to say, for fear of giving away too much or revealing that, perhaps, he doesnt really know whats going on himself.

Theres a scene between Forest and Katie, after the murder of Sergei, in which he tells her that shes not just smarter than he is, shes wiser, too. (It may be worth mentioning that Katie is often reflected in one of the gold columns in this scene while Forest is seen in the real world.) Later, security chief Kenton checks in on Forest and updates him on the cover-up of Sergeis murder. Kenton shows concern for his own health as he smokes a cigarette and says he should quit, while also showing concern for Forest and his mental state. Forest, however, seems cynically apathetic about both of these things, saying that they simply arent worthy of concern anymore. That lends some more credence to Adams theory. These interactions also paint Forest as an emotional, somewhat irrational, and irreducible man, while Katie and Kenton are, by comparison, rather cold, distant, and calculating, as if theyre trying to understand Forests motivations or control them. For what purpose? Forests own well-being or the success of the Devs program, whatever that may be?

In the backward projections, we get glimpses of Forests daughter Amaya blowing bubbles, the crucifixion of Jesus, the burning of Joan of Arc at the stake, a primitive person leaving a handprint on a cave wall, a shot of the pyramids under construction, a medieval army on the march, a sexual dalliance between Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, and even Lilys latest act of rebellion against those who are watching her. But what does it all mean? And whats the purpose of it all?

Image via Raymond Liu/FX

Heres where we get a little more Westworld with the whole thing.

The somewhat bloody and quietly brutal fight between Kenton and his Russian counterpart Anton ends with the latters spine-crunching death. The scene itself also puts a wrinkle in our theory that perhaps Kenton is an artificial human in synthetic flesh, so to speak, since he appeared to be wounded and vulnerable in a very human sense. Perhaps, owing to Adams theory, Kenton is actually a security program who is responsible for the integrity of the system and will occasionally have to clash with either rogue programs or invading threats like Anton. Put more simply, perhaps Kenton is the systems anti-virus software.

Katie feels like something different entirely. Or at least she did, up until the third episode. If shes a program, shes a rather human one. Dont break the rules? Coming from her? asks Stewart, incredulously, after Katie catches them watching a very expensive version of nostalgia porn. But Katie is a no-nonsense, by-the-book exec, willing to accept and allow the murder of a spy if it means preserving the integrity of their project. The question remains, however: Is Katie a solid right-hand woman to Forest, just as Kenton is his right-hand man? Or is she actually in charge of more than were being led to believe?

Image via Raymond Liu/FX

Garlands feature debut Ex Machina explored a number of interesting sci-fi themes: Artificial intelligence and whether or not its detectably different from human intelligence at the highest levels, the possibilities and dangers of said A.I., and what a civilization of humans living alongside android A.I. might just look like. Its a showcase of Garlands interests and curiosity at its core; Devs is the evolution of that exploration.

The end of Ex Machina was open-ended: The advanced A.I. unit known as Ava manages to disguise herself convincingly as a human and merges into an unknown city. In our timeline, that was back in 2014, but neither Ex Machina nor Devs has a hard date for its storyline. Could Ava be not just the scaffolding that Amaya was based on but the literal entity behind the scenes of the whole thing?

Were thrown into Devs in the midst of Amayas cutting-edge research without much backstory on just how they got to be where they are. Weve already posited that Katie, Kenton, and the like might be more than meets the eye. Its entirely possible that Garlands Ava will be the Eve to this next generation of synthetic humans. It just remains to be seen whether or not Garland and FX want to go that route and tie the two titles into a shared universe. After three episodes, were not holding our breath for this one, but we are hoping for a brain-twisting reveal that the people we see and the world they live in is much more than it appears so far.

Well be updating this article as the season rolls on, but feel free to share your theories and questions below!

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'Devs': Every Question (and Theory) We Have for Alex Garland's Sci-Fi Series - Collider.com

We May Be Living in a Simulation, but the Truth Still Matters – The New York Times

Wednesday night, in no particular order in the space of an hour: The N.B.A. suspended its season. Tom Hanks announced that he and his wife have the coronavirus. President Trump, who had spent time hate-tweeting Vanity Fair magazine earlier in the day, banned travel from Europe. And, of course, the former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, wearing a pink, fluffy bear outfit, sang Sir Mix-A-Lots Baby Got Back on The Masked Singer. Correction: Badly sang it.

In perhaps the most accurate assessment of the night, Josh Jordan tweeted: We are living in a simulation and it has collapsed on itself.

I do not believe in the simulation hypothesis, which he is joking about here. For those not familiar, it posits that what we think of as reality is not actually real. Instead, we are living in a complex simulation that was probably created by a supercomputer, invented by an obviously superior being.

Everythings fake news, if you will, or really just designed as a giant video game to amuse what would have to be the brainiest teenagers who ever lived.

Crazy, right?

But while most people think they actually do exist, wouldnt it be nice to have a blame-free explanation to cope with the freak show that has become our country and the world? (I vote yes, even if some quantum computer just made me type that.)

It would be, which is why the idea of the simulation hypothesis has been a long-running, sort-of joke among some of Silicon Valleys top players, some of whom take it more seriously than you might imagine.

Some background: While the basic idea around the simulation hypothesis really goes back to philosophers like Descartes, we got a look-see at this tech-heavy idea in the 1999 movie The Matrix.

In the film, Keanu Reevess character, Neo, is jarred out of his anodyne existence to find that he has been living, unaware, in a virtual world in which the energy from his body, and everyone elses, is used as fuel for the giant computer. Neos body is literally jacked with all kinds of scary-looking plugs, and he finally becomes powerful enough to wave his hands around real fast and break the bad guys into itty-bitty bytes.

The idea that were all living in a simulation took off big time among tech folks in 2003 when Oxford Universitys big thinker of the future, Nick Bostrom, wrote a paper on the subject. He focused on the likely amazing computing abilities of advanced civilizations and the fact that it is not too crazy to imagine that the devices they make could simulate human consciousness.

So why not do that to run what Mr. Bostrom called the ancestor simulation game? The ancestors, by the way, are us.

My mind was blown again a few years later on the topic. During an interview that Walt Mossberg and I did in 2016 with the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, an audience member asked Mr. Musk what he thought of the idea. As it turned out, he had thought a lot about it, saying that he had had so many simulation discussions its crazy.

Which was not to say the discussions were crazy. In fact, Mr. Musk quickly made the case that video game development had become so sophisticated that it was indistinguishable from reality.

And, as to that base reality we think we are living in? Not so much, said Mr. Musk. In fact, he insisted this was a good thing, arguing that either were going to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality or civilization will cease to exist. Those are the two options.

Oh my.

I would like to tell you that was not the last time I heard that formulation, or one like it, from the tech moguls I have covered. The Zappos founder Tony Hsieh once told me we were in one after we did an interview, as we were exiting the stage. I think he was kidding, but he also went over why it might be so and why it was important to bend your mind to consider the possibility.

After hearing the simulation idea so many times, I started to figure out that it was less about the idea that none of this is real. Instead, these tech inventors used it more to explain, inspire and even to force innovation, rather than to negate reality and its inherently hopeless messiness. In fact, it was freeing.

At least that is my take, giving me something that I could like about them, since there was so much not to like.

To my mind, tech leaders do not use the simulation hypothesis as an excuse to do whatever they want. Theyre not positing that nothing matters because none of this is happening. Instead, it allows them to hold out the possibility that this game could also change for the better rather than the worse. And, perhaps, we as pawns have some influence on that outcome too and could turn our story into a better one.

Perhaps this optimism was manifesting in the hopeful news that the Cleveland Clinic may have come up with a faster test for the coronavirus. Or that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key member of the coronavirus task force, exists as a scientific superhero to counter all the bad information that is spewed out to vulnerable citizens like my own mother by outlets like Fox News.

In fact, it felt like a minor miracle when the tireless Dr. Fauci popped up on Sean Hannitys show this week to kindly school him on his irresponsible downplaying and deep-state conspiracy mongering of the health crisis. Pushing back on the specious claim that the coronavirus is just like the flu a notion also promoted by Mr. Trump Dr. Fauci said, Its 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu, to a temporarily speechless Mr. Hannity. You got to make sure that people understand that!

I sure have Dr. Fauci to thank for saying that, which he repeated in congressional testimony too. In all this mess, it felt like a positive turn in the game. But just in case a game it is, Ill also raise a simulated glass to those teenagers somewhere out there pushing all the buttons to make it so. Not so much for Sarah Palins singing, but Ill take that too.

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We May Be Living in a Simulation, but the Truth Still Matters - The New York Times

In four years of a national mission, total supercomputers built: three – The Indian Express

Written by Anjali Marar | Pune | Updated: March 12, 2020 12:46:54 pm Param Shivay, the supercomputer at IIT-BHU. (File Photo)

INDIA HAS produced just three supercomputers since 2015 less than one a year on average under the National Supercomputer Mission (NSM), a dedicated programme aimed at boosting the countrys overall computing facilities and launched that year, according to information obtained under the Right to Information Act from the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and Department of Science and Technology (DST).

The MeitY and DST handle the National Supercomputer Mission, and the missions nodal agencies are the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. According to the RTI reply, monetary grants to the tune of Rs 750.97 crore, or just 16.67 per cent of the total budget of Rs 4,500 crore, was disbursed during the last four-and-a-half years to these two agencies. The NSM was conceived as a seven-year mission ending in 2022.

The NSM envisaged setting up a network of 70 high-performance computing facilities. These were to be installed at many of Indias top academic institutions and scientific establishments like IITs, the Indian Institutes of Science, Education and Research (IISERs), National Institute of Technology (NITs) among others. It was also an effort to improve the number of supercomputers owned by India viz-a-viz the global leaders.

However, skewed funding for the NSM during the initial years slowed down the overall pace of building supercomputers.

In the initial years, funds were limited and the mission was making slow progress. That has improved now and the mission has gathered momentum now with government support, said an official involved in the NSM, who did not wish to be named.

The initial phase, experts say, took additional time as they had to design newer systems in the complete absence of any readily-usable one to assemble softwares on. As the technology was not available, a lot of work had to be done during the initial months. Later, the servers and networks were built after which the softwares were stacked on to them, thus putting together a supercomputer, the official explained.

Globally, China continues to lead the supercomputer race. It added eight more supercomputers in the last six months taking its existing numbers to 227. This giant leap helped China retain its top position, followed by the US (119 supercomputers), as per the TOP500 report of November 2019. Other countries in this league are Japan (29), France (18), Germany (16), The Netherlands (15), Ireland (14) and the United Kingdom (11). All other countries, including India, own only one top performing supercomputer, the report said.

NSMs first supercomputer PARAM Shivay installed in IIT-BHU, Varanasi, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2019, nearly four years post the mission-launch. This 837 TeraFlop capacity HPC was built at a cost of Rs 23.50 crore, the RTI reply said.

The second supercomputer with a capacity of 1.66 PetaFlop was installed at IIT-Kharagpur, and cost Rs 47 crore. The third system, PARAM Brahma, installed in September last year at IISER-Pune, has a capacity of 797 TeraFlop, and cost Rs 23.50 crore, the RTI reply said.

This Rs 94 crore has been spent so far for three advanced computing facilities. The balance allotted budget, experts said, was used in building assembly for components and developing indigenous systems to put together these massive High Performance Computing (HPC) systems, officials involved in the NSM, said.

The budget disbursement by both DST and MeitY towards this mission has been uneven during the last four years, the RTI reply revealed. Twice during the last four-and-a-half years, DST failed to sanction any budget either to IISc (2015-16) or C-DAC (2017-18).

So far, C-DAC has received Rs 144.47 crore between 2015 and September 2019 while IISc has been awarded Rs 265.50 crore by DST alone during the period. MeitY has sanctioned Rs 341 crore to C-DAC alone.

There will soon be 11 supercomputers; expected to be installed by 2020 or latest by March 2021. All will be indigenously manufactured. Besides, the next phase will involve developing capability building, which is an ongoing process, the official said. Three supercomputers are expected to be installed in the near future, one each in IIT-Kanpur; Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru and IIT-Hyderabad, the RTI reply said.

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In four years of a national mission, total supercomputers built: three - The Indian Express

Trump proposes another $475 million for supercomputers as Oak Ridge builds next version of world’s fastest machine – Chattanooga Times Free Press

Since 2009, the fastest computers in the world have been housed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, knownsuccessively as the Jaguar, the Titan and now the Summit.

Next year, Oak Ridge will get an even faster and bigger supercomputer when one of the world's first exascale computers, dubbed the Frontier built by Cray Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices, is added at the lab's computational research facility. The $600 million Frontier computer system is expected to go into operation n 2021 and will be the largest of three exascale computers planned by the Energy Department, including the Aurora and El Capitan computers at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

In his budget proposal this week, President Trump pledged to provide another $475 million for exascale computing "to help secure the United States as a global leader in supercomputing," according to the Office of Management and Budget plan submitted to Congress for fiscal 2021.

The additional funding for the supercomputer is part of $5.8 billion allocated in the Trump budget for the Office of Science.

In addition to the advanced computer research, the budget plan should aid ORNL with $237 million for quantum information science; $125 million for AI and machine learning; and $45 million to enhance materials and chemistry foundational research to support U.S.- based leadership in microelectronics.

"I applaud the White House's focus on high performance computing and on protecting America's place as a leader in supercomputing and look forward to seeing more details on the President's budget request," said U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Chattanooga who represents Oak Ridge in his district and is a member of the powerful Hosue Appropriations Committee. "Oak Ridge National Laboratory is home to the fastest supercomputer in the world, Summit, and it is natural that it will continue to play a role in maintaining America's position as a leader in the field of high performance computing."

The number of floating point operations computers can handle per second is increasing exponentially

1988: Gigaflops 1 billion

1998: Teraflops a trilion or one million million (or 10 to the 12th power)

2008: Petaflops a quadrillion or one thousand million million (or 10 to the 15th power)

2021: Exaflops a quintillion or billion billion (10 to the 18th power)

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Trump proposes another $475 million for supercomputers as Oak Ridge builds next version of world's fastest machine - Chattanooga Times Free Press

The quantum computer is about the change the world. Three Israelis are leading the revolution – Haaretz

In October 2019, Google announced that its quantum computer, Sycamore, had done a calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds that would have taken the worlds fastest supercomputer 10,000 years. Quantum supremacy, Google claimed for itself. We now have a quantum computer, it was saying, capable of performing calculations that no regular, classical computer is capable of doing in a reasonable time.

Where do you buy a computer like that? You dont. Googles Sycamore cant run Word or Chrome, it cant even run a nice friendly game of Minesweeper. In fact, Googles supreme quantum computer doesnt know how to do anything, other than perform one useless calculation. It resembles the huge computer in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which came up with the calculation of 42, as the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything although no one knows what the question is.

The question is now being worked on in Tel Aviv, on Derech Hashalom Street. In their generic office in the citys Nahalat Yitzhak neighborhood, three physicists who received their doctorates at Rehovots Weizmann Institute of Science Nissim Ofek, 46; Yonatan Cohen, 36; and Itamar Sivan, 32 are developing instruments of control that will tame the quantum monster.

Ten years ago, when I took a course in quantum computing, it was considered science fiction, Dr. Sivan, the CEO of their company, Quantum Machines, relates. The experts said that it wouldnt happen in our lifetime or may never happen. As a physicist, quantum computing is a dream come true. Almost all our employees are physicists, even those who work as programmers, and most of them approached us. They read about an Israeli company for quantum computing and simply couldnt restrain themselves. Theres nothing more exciting than to learn for years about Schrdingers cat and about all the wild quantum effects, and then to enter a laboratory and actually build Schrdingers cat and leverage the theory into a prodigious force of calculation.

Already in high school, Sivan, who was born and raised in Tel Aviv, knew that he was drawn to the mysterious world of elusive particles. I did honors physics, and in that framework we learned a little quantum mechanics. Without mathematics at that stage, only the ideas of quantum mechanics. My brain took off. The quantinizing of the world, of the space around me, was very tangible. I felt that I understood the quantum world. Afterward I understood that I didnt understand anything, but thats not important. Its preferable to develop an intuition for quantum at an early age like for a language. Afterward I did military service, but I didnt forget that magic.

I was a bureau chief [i.e., military secretary], not the most intellectually challenging job in the army, he continues, and I was afraid that when I was discharged, I would be too old. You know, its said that all the great mathematicians achieved their breakthroughs before the age of 25. So, in parallel with army service I started undergraduate studies at the Open University. On the day after my discharge, I flew to Paris to continue my studies at the cole Normale Suprieure because there are a few other things that are also worth doing when youre young, such as living in Paris.

He met his partners in the project, Nissim Ofek and Yonatan Cohen, at the Weizmann Institute, where they all studied at the Center for Submicron Research, under Prof. Moty Heiblum.

Sivan: Nissim had completed his Ph.D. and was doing a postdoc at Yale just when Yonatan and I started. At the same time, Yonatan and I established the Weizmann Institutes entrepreneurship program. When we graduated, we asked each other: Okay, what do we know how to do in this world? The answer: quantum electronics and entrepreneurship. We really had no choice other than to found Quantum Machines.

QM is a singular startup, says Prof. Amir Yacoby, a Harvard University physicist and a member of the companys scientific advisory board. A great many startups promise to build ever more powerful quantum computers. QM is out to support all those ambitious platforms. Its the first company in the world that is building both the hardware and the software that will make it possible to use those computers. You have to understand that quantum computing was born in university labs before the electronics industry created designated devices for it. What we did was to take devices designated for classical computers and adapt them to the quantum computers. It took plenty of student years. Thats why QM looks so promising. These guys were the wretches who went through hell, who learned the needs the hard way. Today, every research group that Im familiar with is in contact with them or has already bought the system from them. QM is generating global enthusiasm.

Well return to the Israeli startup, but first we need to understand what all the fuss is about.

What we refer to as the universal computing machine was conceived by the man considered the father of computer sciences, Alan Turing, in 1936. Years before there were actual computers in the world, Turing suggested building a read-write head that would move a tape, read the different state in each frame, and replicate it according to commands it received. It sounds simplisltic, but there is no fundamental difference between the theoretical Turing machine and my new Lenovo laptop. The only difference is that my Turing machine reads-writes so many frames per second that its impossible to discern that its actually calculating. As the science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke put it, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Classical computers perform these calculations by means of transistors. In 1947, William Shockley, Walter Brattain and John Bardeen built the first transistor the word is an amalgam of transfer and resistor. The transistor is a kind of switch that sits within a slice of silicon and acts as the multi-state frame that Turing dreamed of. Turn on the switch and the electricity flows through the transistor; turn it off, and the electricity does not flow. Hence, the use of transistors in computers is binary: if the electricity flows through the transistor, the bit, or binary digit, is 1; and if the current does not flow, the bit is 0.

With transistors, the name of the game is miniaturization. The smaller the transistor, the more of them it is possible to compress into the silicon slice, and the more complex are the calculations one can perform. It took a whole decade to get from the one transistor to an integrated circuit of four transistors. Ten years later, in 1965, it had become possible to compress 64 transistors onto a chip. At this stage, Gordon Moore, who would go on to found Intel, predicted that the number of transistors per silicon slice would continue to grow exponentially. Moores Law states that every 18 months, like clockwork, engineers will succeed in miniaturizing and compressing double the number of transistors in an integrated circuit.

Moores Law is a self-fulfilling fusion of a natural law and an economic prediction. A natural law, because miniaturized electrical circuits are more efficient and cheaper (its impossible to miniaturize a passenger plane, for example); and an economic law, because the engineers bosses read Moores article and demanded that they compress double the number of transistors in the following year. Thus we got the golden age of computers: the Intel 286, with 134,000 transistors in 1982; the 386, with 275,000 transistors, in 1985; the 486, with 1,180,235 transistors, in 1989; and the Pentium, with 3.1 million transistors, in 1993. There was no reason to leave the house.

Today, the human race is manufacturing dozens of billions of transistors per second. Your smartphone has about 8.5 billion transistors. According to a calculation made by the semiconductor analyst Jim Handy, since the first transistor was created in 1947, 2,913,276,327,576,980,000,000 transistors thats 2.9 sextillion have been manufactured, and within a few years there will be more transistors in the world than all the cells in all the human bodies on earth.

However, the golden age of the transistors is behind us. Moores Law ceased being relevant long ago, says Amir Yacoby. Computers are continuing to be improved, but the pace has slowed. After all, if wed continued to miniaturize transistors at the rate of Moores Law, we would have reached the stage of a transistor the size of an atom and we would have had to split the atom.

The conventional wisdom is that the slowdown in the rate of the improvement of classic computers is the engine driving the accelerated development of quantum computers. QM takes a different approach. Theres no need to look for reasons to want more computing power, Sivan says. Its a bottomless pit. Generate more calculating power, and we will find something to do with it. Programmers are developing cooler applications and smarter algorithms, but everything rests on the one engine of calculating power. Without that engine, the high-tech industry would not have come into being.

Moores Law, Cohen adds, starts to snafu precisely because miniaturization brought us to the level of solitary atoms, and the quantum effectsare in any case already starting to interfere with the regular behavior of the transistors. Now we are at a crossroads. Either we continue to do battle against these effects, which is what Intel is doing, or we start harnessing them to our advantage.

And theres another problem with our universal Turing machine: even if we were able to go on miniaturizing transistors forever, there is a series of hard problems that will always be one step ahead of our computers.

Mathematicians divide problems according to complexity classes, Cohen explains. Class P problems are simple for a classic computer. The time it takes to solve the problem increases by polynomials, hence the P. Five times three is an example of a polynomial problem. I can go on multiplying and my calculating time will remain linear for the number of digits that I add to the problem. There are also NP problems, referring to nondeterministic polynomial time. I give you the 15 and you need to find the primary factors five times three. Here the calculating time increases exponentially when the problem is increased in linear terms. NP complexity problems are difficult for classic computers. In principle, the problem can still be solved, but the calculating time becomes unreal.

A classic example of an NP complexity problem is that of the traveling salesman. Given a list of cities and the distance between each two cities, what is the shortest route for the traveling salesman who in the end has to return to his hometown to take? Between 14 cities, the number of possible routes is 10 to the 11th power. A standard computer performs an operation every nanosecond, or 10 to the 9th power operations per second, and thus will calculate all the possible routes in 100 seconds. But if we increase the number of cities to just 22, the number of possibilities will grow to 10 to the 19th power, and our computer will need 1,600 years to calculate the fastest route. And if we want to figure out the route for 28 cities, the universe will die before we get the result. And in contrast to the problem that Googles quantum supremacy computer addressed, the problem of the traveling salesman comes from the real world. Airlines, for example, would kill to have a computer that could do such calculations.

In fact, modern encrypting is based on the same computer-challenging problems. When we enter the website of a bank, for example, the communication between us and the bank is encrypted. What is the sophisticated Enigma-like machine that prevents outsiders from hacking into our bank account? Prime numbers. Yes, most of the sensitive communication on the internet is encrypted by a protocol called RSA (standing for the surnames of Ron Rivest, the Israeli Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adelman), whose key is totally public: breaking down a large number into prime numbers. Every computer is capable of hacking RSA, but it would take many years for it to do so. To break down a number of 300 digits into prime numbers would require about 100 years of calculation. A quantum computer would solve the problem within an hour and hack the internet.

The central goal of the study of quantum algorithms in the past 25 years was to try and understand what quantum computers could be used for, says Prof. Scott Aaronson, a computer scientist from the University of Texas at Austin and a member of QMs scientific advisory board. People need to understand that the answer is not self-evident. Nature granted us a totally bizarre hammer, and we have to thank our good fortune that we somehow managed to find a few nails for it.

Spooky action

What is this strange hammer? Without going deeply into quantum theory, suffice it to explain that quantum mechanics is a scientific theory that is no less grounded than the Theory of General Relativity or the theory of electricity even if it conflicts sharply with common sense. As it happens, the universe was not tailor-made for us.

Overall, quantum mechanics describes the motion of particles in space. At about the same time as Turing was envisioning his hypothetical computer, it was discovered that small particles, atomic and sub-atomic, behave as if they were large waves. We will illuminate two cracks with a flashlight and we will look at the wall on the other side. What will we see? Bands of light and shade alternately. The two waves that will be formed in the cracks will weaken or strengthen each other on the other side like ocean waves. But what happens if we fire one particle of light, a solitary photon, at the two cracks? The result will be identical to the flashlight: destructive and constructive interference of waves. The photon will split in two, pass through the two cracks simultaneously and become entangled with itself on the other side.

Its from this experiment, which was repeated in numberless variations, that the two odd traits of quantum mechanics are derived: what scientists call superposition (the situation of the particle we fired that split into two and passed between the two cracks in parallel) and the ability to predict only the probability of the photons position (we dont know for certain where the particle we fired will hit). An equally strange trait is quantum entanglement. When two particles are entangled, the moment one particle decides where it is located, it influences the behavior of the other particles, even if it is already on the other side of the cracks or on the other side of the Milky Way. Einstein termed this phenomenon spooky action at a distance.

The world of quantum mechanics is so bizarre that its insanely attractive, Sivan suggests. On the one hand, the results contradict common sense; on the other hand, it is one of the most solidly grounded theories.

The best analogy was provided by the physicist Richard Feynman, who conceived the idea of a quantum computer in 1982, notes Cohen. Feynman compared the world to a great chess game being played by the gods We do not know what the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing. Of course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few of the rules.

According to Cohen, Until the beginning of the 20th century, physicists could only look at pawns at the binary moves. Quantum mechanics shows us that there is a larger and far more interesting set of laws in nature: there are knights, rooks, queens.

Here, adds Sivan, pointing, this table here has an end, right? No, it doesnt. Like the particle that passes through the cracks, this table also has no defined size in space, only probability. The prospect is that we will find a table particle fading exponentially at the edge of the table. In order to work with the table on an everyday basis, we can make do with the classic, simplistic description. But our world is a quantum world and we need to know how to describe it truly. And for that we need quantum computers. In order to describe a simple molecule with 300 atoms penicillin, lets say we will need 2 to the 300th power classic transistors which is more than the number of atoms in the universe. And that is only to describe the molecule at a particular moment. To run it in a simulation would require us to build another few universes, to supply all the material needed.

But humanity is today running simulations on whole galaxies.

Sivan: True, but humanity is really bad at that. We are simplifying, cutting corners. This table will have a boundary in a simulation, so that you can work with it. The galaxy you are simulating is composed of molecules that behave according to quantum mechanics, but in the simulation you will run, the galaxy having no other choice will operate according to the principles of classical mechanics. That was Feynmans great insight: We cannot simulate a quantum world with classical computers. Only a quantum computer will know how to simulate a quantum system.

Feynman didnt stop at imagining a machine that would depict or simulate a quantum system that is, a computer that would be analogic for a quantum system. He took a step forward and asked: Why not build a universal quantum calculating machine? The theoretical principles for the universal quantum computer were set forth by the Israeli-born physicist David Deutsch in 1985. A quantum computer, Deutsch stated, will not be comparable to a Turing machine; it will be capable of solving every problem that a Turing machine is capable of solving and another few problems, too. Such as NP complexity problems.

Classic computers are based on binary bits, two states, 0 or 1, Cohen says. But like the particle in the experiment, Schrdingers cat can also be in a superposition, both dead and living, both 0 and 1. We dont know how to do that with cats yet, but there are systems that we can bring to superposition. Every such system is called a quantum bit, or qubit. Of course, the superposition will ultimately collapse, because we need to see the result on the other side, but along the way the cat was both living and dead, the lone photon truly passed through both cracks with the result in accordance.

Sivan: Two classic bits can take four possible combinations: 00, 01, 10 or 11. Two quantum bits can be in all four of those combinations simultaneously: 00, also 01, also 10 and also 11. With eight qubits you reach 256 combinations. That is true exponential force. Lets say you have a processor with a billion transistors, a billion bits, and you want to double its memory. You would have to add another billion bits. To double the memory in a quantum computer you will have to add one qubit.

How does it work? Take, for example, two simple calculations with two classic bits. In the first calculation you feed 00 into the machine and the algorithm says to the computer to switch, or turn over, the first bit, so we get 01. Then we want to solve another problem. We feed into the computer two bits in a 11 state, and the computer turns over the second bit, so we get 10. Two calculations, two operations. Now we will entangle a pair of quantum bits in superposition: they are both 00 and 11. Instead of two operations, the quantum computer will turn over the second bit and we will get both 01 and 10. Two calculations, one operation. And the operation will continue to be one, no matter how many calculations we perform. If in the classic computer, we are at any given moment in one state out of two states, 0 or 1, to the power of the number of bits we have, in the quantum computer we are at any given moment in each of the states.

An important clarification is in order here. Scott Aaronsons blog, called Shtetl-Optimized, carries the motto, Quantum computers would not solve hard search problems instantaneously by simply trying all the possible solutions at once. Thats because a quantum computer can be in all the states at every given moment but we, by heavens grace, are not quantum beings. We need an answer. That is why scientists are building the quantum computer with delicate choreography so that all the mistaken calculations will weaken one another and the calculations that contribute to the right answer will empower one another so that we non-quantum mortals will, with high probability, be able to measure the right answer from among the random nonsense.

Almost every popular article is wrong on this point, Prof. Aaronson explains. Like Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill, I have been trying for 15 years to explain that if we simply measure the superposition of each of the possible answers, we will get a random answer. For that we dont need quantum computers you can flip a coin or spin a top. All the hopes we are pinning on quantum computing depend on our ability to increase the probability of the right answer and reduce the probability of all the wrong answers.

Thus, the classic bit is encoded through an electrical current in semiconductors, so that if the current does not flow we get 0, and if it does flow we get 1. The revolution of the quantum computer hasnt yet determined what the best way is to encode quantum bits, but at the moment the most advanced quantum computers are using a two-atom electron. The electron can be either in atom left, 0, or in atom right, 1 or in both of them, in superposition at the same time. Googles Sycamore has 53 such qubits, fewer than the number of classical bits there were in the world when Moore formulated his law in 1964. All the giants such as IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Alibaba are in the quantum race to add qubits; the experts think that in a year or two we will see quantum computers with 100 or 200 qubits. The rate of increase is astounding, appropriate for a quantum Moores Law. Now arises the question: If one qubit works, and 53 qubits work together, why not create more qubits? Why not create a processor possessing hundreds, thousands, millions of qubits, to hack the RSA encryption of all the banks in the world and retire on a yacht?

The answer is that quantum computers make mistakes. Classical computers make mistakes, too, but were not aware of that because the classical computers also correct the mistakes. If, for example, a calculation is run on three classical bits, and one bit produces the result 0, and two bits produces the result 1, the processor will determine that the first bit was wrong and return it to state 1. Democracy. In quantum computing, democracy doesnt work, because the voters entered the polling booth together. Think of three cubits entangled to 000 and to 111, which is to say, three electrons that are present together both in the left atom and in the right atom simultaneously. If the third bit turns over by mistake, we will get a state of 001 and 110. If we try to correct the mistake, or even to check whether a mistake occurred, our superposition will collapse immediately and we will get 000 or 111. In other words, the qubits defeat themselves. The quantum entanglement that makes the computer marvel possible is the same one that precludes the possibility of adding more qubits: The electrons simply coordinate positions, so that it is impossible to ask them who made the mistake. That is a problem, because qubits are notorious for their sensitivity to the environment and there are also prone to make mistakes a lot more than regular bits.

Classical bits do not have a continuum of possibilities, Prof. Yacoby notes. What is a classical bit? The electricity flows or doesnt flow. Even if the current weakens or becomes stronger, it is still considered a current. The quantum bits are sequential, the electron can be largely in atom right and partially in atom left. That is their strength and that is their weakness. Therefore, every interaction with the environment affects them dramatically. If I use my regular computer and an electronic wave passes through the transistor, the state of the bit does not change. The same electronic wave passing through a qubit will cause loss of the qubits coherence, memory. The information will leak out to the surroundings and we will not be able to reconstruct it.

For this reason, we will not see quantum iPads in the near or distant future. A classical processor performs a calculation in a nanosecond, but will preserve the information for days, months, years ahead. A quantum computer also performs a calculation in a nanosecond and at best will manage to preserve the information for a hundredth of a microsecond. Quantum computers are so sensitive to external interference that they must be isolated from their surroundings at almost minus 273 degrees Celsius, one 10,000th of a degree above absolute zero.

The interaction of the qubits with the environment is a serious problem, because they lose the memory, says Yacoby. But that only means that they are measuring something in regard to the environment. There is a whole field of quantum sensors that enable us to learn about traits of materials with psychopathic sensitivity. Quantum clocks can measure a change in the force of gravity of the Earth from my nose to my chin. Its unbelievable. Lockheed Martin is developing a cruise missile that will be able to navigate itself without GPS, solely according to the quantum sensitivity to minute differences in Earths magnetic field. And there are quite a few startups that use quantum sensors to identify cancerous cells. These are applications for which I foresee commercial success long before we actually have quantum computers.

Theres also another game that can be played with quantum sensitivity: encryption. A quantum computer can hack the widespread encryption protocol on the internet, RSA, because it can calculate NP problems with no problem. But given that superposition collapses the moment the black box is opened to examine whether the cat is dead or alive, a quantum encryption protocol will be immune by virtue of its being quantum. Communication with the bank can be left open on a quantum server. Anyone who tries to listen to the line will cause the collapse of the superposition and hear gibberish and the bank and the client will know that someone listened in.

But with all due respect to the benefit that can be extracted from the fact that quantum computers dont work but can only sense humanity will benefit tremendously if we can make them work. In our world, everything is quantum at its base. Mapping the structure of chemical molecules requires quantum computing power, and we will know how to ward off diseases only when the pharmaceutical companies are able to run quantum simulations. The neurons in our brain are quantum, and we will be able to create true artificial intelligence only when we have quantum computers that can run independent thoughts.

Its not the race to the moon, Cohen says, its the race to Mars. In my opinion, the greatest scientific and engineering challenge now facing the human race is the actualization of quantum computers. But in order to actualize all those dreams, we need to understand how we correct errors in qubits, how we control them. Thats what were doing. QM is the first company in the world that is totally focused on developing control and operating systems for quantum computers. The system we are developing has a decisive role in correcting errors. In fact, the third founder of QM, Nissim, was the first person in the world to prove that errors in quantum bits can be corrected. He didnt show it on paper he proved it, succeeded, demonstrated it. Instead of measuring every qubit and seeing which was wrong, its possible to examine whether the qubits are in the same state. If one qubit is in a different state, well know that it is wrong. You can know whether you voted for a party that didnt win without knowing the results of the election.

QM was founded in 2018 with the aim of bypassing the problem of errant qubits with the help of some old friends: classical bits. If the classical computer contains hardware and software, meaning a great many transistors and a language that tells the processor which calculations to run on them, in a quantum computer, the cake has three layers: quantum hardware (that is, qubits), classical hardware that will be able to operate the quantum hardware, and software (both classical and quantum). That is our way of having an impact on the qubits while reading the results in our world, Sivan says. If we were quantum beings, we would be able to speak directly with the computer but were not.

Would you like to be a quantum being? It would save you a lot of work.

Yes, but then the other quantum beings wouldnt buy our products.

QM is building the classical hardware and software that will be able to send the right electric signals to the electrons and to read the results with minimal interference to the black wonder box. Their integrated system is called the Quantum Orchestration Platform.

Today there is separate hardware for every individual quantum computer, Cohen says. We are building an orchestra system that can work with every such computer and will send the most correct electrical signals to the qubits. In addition, we are developing programming language that will make it possible for us to program the algorithms the commands. Thats a general quantum language, like C [programming language]. Today there is a potpourri of languages, each quantum computer and its language. We want our language, QUA, to be established as the standard, universal language for quantum computing.

Sound off the wall? Not all that much. Last month, QM joined the IBM Q Network, in an attempt to integrate the computer conglomerates programming languages into the Quantum Orchestration Platform of Sivan and his colleagues, and to publish a complete complier (a complier is a computer program that can translates computer code written in one programming language into another language) by the second quarter of 2020. The complier will be able to translate every quantum programming language into the QM platform. Thus, an algorithm written in a university in Shanghai will be able to run on a quantum computer built in Googles laboratories in, say, Mountain View.

Says Yonatan Cohen: The major players, like Google and IBM, are still gambling. They are developing a quantum processor that is based on their own [singular] technology. And it could be that in a few years we will discover a better platform, and their processor will not have any use. We are building a system that is agnostic to quantum hardware. Our goal is to grow with the industry, no matter what direction it develops in. Because the underlying assumption is that you dont know exactly when quantum computers will start to be practicable. Some people say three years, others say 20 years. But its clear to us that whoever is in the forefront when it erupts will win bigtime, because he will control the new computing force. Everyone will have to work with him, in his language, with his hardware.

Sivan: Its possible that in another few years, we will look back on this decade and see an unexampled technological turning point: the moment when quantum computers went into action. Thats not another technological improvement. Its a leap

A quantum leap!

Sivan: Exactly.

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The quantum computer is about the change the world. Three Israelis are leading the revolution - Haaretz

Eni to Retake Industrial HPC Leadership Crown with Launch of HPC5 – HPCwire

With the launch of its Dell-built HPC5 system, Italian energy company Eni regains its position atop the industrial supercomputing leaderboard. At 52-petaflops peak, HPC5 should easily crack the top ten fold of the next Top500 list, due out in June. If and when that happens, HPC5 will supplant Totals IBM Pangea III supercomputer, currently at number 11 with 17.9 Linpack petaflops out of 25 theoretical petaflops, as the top publicly ranked industrial HPC system.

HPC5 spans 1,820 Dell EMC PowerEdge C4140 servers, each with two Intel Gold 6252 24-core processors and four Nvidia V100 GPU accelerators. Servers are connected by Mellanox 200 Gb/s HDR Infiniband in a full non-blocking topology. The deployment includes a high-performance 15-petabyte storage system with 200 GB/s aggregate read/write speeds.

HPC5 joins Enis HPE-built HPC4 machine, which ranks 16 on the current Top500 list with 12.2 Linpack petaflops out of a theoretical 18.6 petaflops. Prior to Totals Pangea III deployment, HPC4 held the title of fastest industry supercomputer.

Both systems are housed inside Enis Green Data Center, located in Ferrera Erbognone in Pavia, Italy. Built on a former rice paddy, the Green Data Centre opened in 2013 to host all of Enis HPC architecture and its business applications.

With the new addition to their datacenter, Eni says its total aggregate supercomputing capacity reaches 70 peak petaflops. The upgraded and expanded capacity allows Eni to speed the processing of seismic images and employ much more sophisticated algorithms.

Partners Eni and Dell emphasized the projects sustainability goals, noting that the HPC5 supercomputer will accelerate R&D programs for the transition to non-fossil energy sources, and it has been designed to use the Green Data Centres solar power.

Among Enis designated strategic targets for the development of new energy sources and related processes are the generation of energy from the sea, magnetic confinement fusion, and other climate and environmental technologies to be developed in collaboration with research centers.

The launch of the new system also has some special significance for Dell EMC as the system maker continues to ascend the leadership computing ladder. Frontera at TACC (#5 on the Top500 with 23 Linpack petaflops) is currently the worlds fastest academic supercomputer, and with the installation at Eni, Dell can claim the number one industrial system as well.

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Eni to Retake Industrial HPC Leadership Crown with Launch of HPC5 - HPCwire

Supercomputer predicts Premier League top four as Chelsea, Man Utd and Tottenham battle it out – Mirror Online

Chelsea , Tottenham and Manchester United all remain firmly in contention for Champions League football next season.

With Liverpool , Manchester City and Leicester looking firm favourites to finish in the top three, Chelsea are in pole position to claim fourth spot.

Despite boss Frank Lampard labelling his side as underdogs in the race, theyre currently four points ahead of fifth-placed Spurs heading into the winter break.

However, theyve struggled in recent weeks, winning just one of their last five league games.

But a supercomputer expects them to recover their form and finish in the final coveted Champions League spot.

Following their morale-boosting win over Manchester City on Sunday, Tottenham are seen as one of the main contenders to leapfrog the Blues before the end of the campaign.

Theyre expected to drop off in the final weeks this term though.

Jose Mourinhos men will come home in seventh, with only 21 points from their next 13 games.

According to the supercomputer, Manchester United will finish one place below them in eighth.

The Red Devils have lost more league games than theyve won since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became the permanent manager.

Their problems are due to continue as its anticipated theyll finish a massive 14 points off fourth.

Wolves impressive season shows no sign of tailing off as theyre predicted to be sixth, sealing qualification for the Europa League once again.

Its Sheffield United who will continue to be the surprise package though.

After securing promotion from the Championship last time around, Chris Wilders men will continue to defy expectations in finishing fifth, eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Arsenal s difficult season is set to continue.

The Gunners have picked up just six wins so far and their total of 31 points after 25 games is their lowest since the 1912/13 season.

With only 17 points from their final 13 games, Mikel Artetas side are predicted to end ninth.

There is also an interesting prediction in the race to finish second.

Most expect Manchester City to be runners-up - the defending champions are currently two points ahead of Leicester.

But the supercomputer has backed the Foxes to be Liverpools closest challengers at the end of this campaign.

Here is how the final table for the 2019/20 season is predicted to look:

1. Liverpool - 112 points

2. Leicester - 84

3. Man City - 77

4. Chelsea - 69

5. Sheffield United - 61

6. Wolves - 58

7. Tottenham - 56

8. Man Utd - 55

9. Arsenal - 48

10. Everton - 48

11. Crystal Palace - 45

12. Newcastle - 45

13. Brighton - 44

14. Burnley - 43

15. Southampton - 40

16. West Ham - 37

17. Bournemouth - 34

18. Aston Villa - 31

19. Watford - 30

20. Norwich - 27

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Supercomputer predicts Premier League top four as Chelsea, Man Utd and Tottenham battle it out - Mirror Online

5 Reasons Why The Batmobile Is The Best Superhero Vehicle Of All Time (& 5 Why It’s The Spider-Buggy) – CBR – Comic Book Resources

If anyone brings up the topic of awesome superhero vehicles. there's onein particularthat will always be brought up without fail. That iconic vehicle is, of course, Batman's own Batmobile. One of the most badass pieces of metal on four wheels that has graced the pages of comics everywhere.

RELATED:Marvel: 10 Biggest Changes to Spider-Man this Decade

However, there's another hero from a universe opposite from Batman's with a vehicle that is arguably just as badass but far more underrated. That vehicle is Spider-Man's Spider-Buggy. While both of these vehicles are equally just as awesome they both are great for different reasons. Reasons that will be looked at throughout this list.

The thing about the Batmobile is that even people that aren't fans of the comics featuring DC's Dark Knight are still just as familiar with it as a comic fan. This car has shown up in literally every live-action iteration of Batman throughout the years which has given it tons of exposure, putting it into the eyes of the general public.

This car is up there with rides like theGhostbuster's Ecto-1 in terms of popularity. It's also one of those cars that one can usually bet on seeing when going to any comic book convention.

Take an actual car and give it webs and you have a ride in theory that can catch and stop just about any thief. The fact that the Spider-Buggy can literally shoot out Spider-Man's powerful and staple webbing formula is case enough for it being one of the best rides in comics. This is a simple yet effective asset that any ride of Spidey's should boast.

The bad thing about this is that this hot ride wasn't equipped with Spider-Man's web fluid until its third appearance in the Spider-Man series where it was featured in the Parker Industries museum.

One of the reasons that the Batmobile is so iconic is due to the fact that it not only has changed appearances into something sleeker and suited for battle than it originally was but also due to the fact that it has evolved throughout time from one car to another. The Batmobile is one ride that will never look the same throughout the Batman iterations.

RELATED:7 Things Spider-Man Has Done For Money In Marvel Comics

Fans have been able to see different takes on Batman's car of choice with each new version of their favorite hero. With so many cars to choose from, it truly seems as if this super car will never go out of style.

One thing that the Spider-Buggy has kept on board throughout time no matter the iteration of it is the goofy charm that puts a smile on the face of whoever sees it. This is not only due to the fact that the car is quite literally a dune buggy meant for action but also due to the fact that Spider-Man doesn't really need a car.

Batman's Batmobile once had this same charm back when it was first created and shown in live-action during the 60s, but since then it's ditched that goof factor. Spidey's ride has kept this style all along.

One of the things that Batman fans love about Batman is that he's a hero that is relatively realistic. With enough money, just about everything Batman can do can be done in real life, which has become more apparent as the world goes further into the future. This point of the Batman character is even mirrored by his trusty ride.

RELATED:The Batman: 10 Lame Comic Villains Who Could Actually Work In The Upcoming Movie

The Batmobile is a ride that probably already exists somewhere. Not only has its look been copied in real-life versions but the tech is probably out there somewhere. This is one of the key factors of the Batman mythos and something fans eat up about this ride.

Whereas many iterations of the Batmobile attempt to ground themselves in a bit of realism, the Spider-Buggy decides to do the complete opposite by defying any laws of physics and doing crazy things like going up the walls of skyscrapers. This unreal feat of Spider-Man's dune buggy is completely dumb and awesome at the same time.

It's things like this that aren't explained in the slightest that makes the Spider-Buggy such an awesome and iconic ride. Hopefully, it comes back and shows off even more ridiculous feats.

One thing that the Spider-Buggy hasn't shown fans is any kind of transformations. Guess what super car does have that on its resume. Yup, the Batmobile. Installment after installment, Batman's ride has shown fans different transformations used to adapt to all different types of situations.

The Batmobile has had flying forms, underwater forms, rocket forms, and most iconic, a tank form. It can also store a whole motorcycle which could somewhat count as a transformation.

If it hasn't been noticed until now, the Spider-Buggy can do just about everything that Spider-Man can. Climb up walls, shoot webs, take on large foes, etc. Not only that but the Spider-Buggy has a look, including paint job, that directly mirrors the alter-ego of its owner.

RELATED:Batman: The 15 Most Powerful Members of The Bat Family, Ranked

The Batmobile may be an extension of Batman, but Spidey's color palette and the Buggy's toolkit takes that a step further by having the two literally mirror each other.

Unless there is a way to fit an entire super computer inside of a dune buggy then this is one feature that the Batmobile will always hold over the head of the Spider-Buggy.

Batman's line of work means that he needs to be prepared for every situation no matter the location. This super computer ensures that this preparation is a non-issue, basically giving him unlimited knowledge no matter where his mission may take him.

The Batmobile is simply another tool created by Batman and/or his associates. Unlike this ride, the Spider-Buggy comes with a funny backstory of a car company wanting to have a brand deal with Spidey. He crashes the car during a battle with a few foes but retrieves and returns it.

Years later he comes back to the idea of a Spider-Buggy and creates a new model complete with the ability to do whatever a spider can.

NEXT:Batman: 10 Gadgets From Other Superheroes He Wishes He Had

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5 Reasons Why The Batmobile Is The Best Superhero Vehicle Of All Time (& 5 Why It's The Spider-Buggy) - CBR - Comic Book Resources

Leeds fans react as super computer tips them for the title – FootballFanCast.com

2 minute read 7/2/2020 | 08:00pm

There are a few signs that were coming towards the end of winter.

Leaves are growing back on trees, the sun is staying out for a bit longer and TalkSPORT have once again wheeled out their infamous super computer.

Indeed the radio station continued their regular tradition of using their groundbreaking piece of technology to predict the Championship table, and it makes for good reading for Leeds fans.

Yes, according to the machine, the Whites 16-year wait for a place in the Premier League is finally going to come to an end as theyve been tipped to win the title.

Understandably, a number of United fans were happy to see their side top this table.

Of course, theres still a long way to go, but after winning just two of their last nine games it seems as though this was a much-needed boost for some members of the fanbase.

Others had their doubts about this prediction.

Four Three Two One

One fan jokingly asked whether or not the computer predicted Leeds to lose to Wigan, while others commented that a similar prediction was made last year after the Elland Road outfit were touted for a second-place finish and automatic promotion.

In other news, Leeds may miss Phillips and Forshaw more than ever on Saturday.

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Leeds fans react as super computer tips them for the title - FootballFanCast.com

Follow-up: Virologists and supercomputer need to conquer the coronavirus – Innovation Origins

In our weekly follow-up column we feature a sequel to the best-read article of the past week. This week: An Austrian start-up discovers an already existing drug that could potentially be used against the coronavirus.

The number of people who have died from the coronavirus has now risen to over 800. The virus has thus claimed more victims than the SARS epidemic did in 2002 and 2003. At the moment, almost 35,000 people worldwide are infected with the coronavirus according to the World Health Organization.

Scientists all over the world are trying to find a cure for the virus. However, before there is any such cure, nothing else can be done except take precautions. Make sure precautionary measures are taken so that the virus cannot spread any further, Harald Wychgel of the RIVM explains. In China you see that entire cities are on lock down. The number of infections in the EU is not that high, but it is important that we are vigilant about this. Were taking precautions in order to prevent it from spreading.

Virologists claim that it will take at least another year before a drug against the virus is released on the market. Research is being done on vaccines where a weakened version of the virus is injected into the body. This causes the body to produce antibodies, which become active when the body becomes infected by the virus. Research is also underway to find a means of preventing the virus from spreading more widely. Just like the way HIV inhibitors work. But before such a drug is approved, a lot of time is wasted on trial and error, Wychgel says.

But what if you could tackle the coronavirus with an established drug that has already been approved for use in human beings? Which is exactly what Innophore does. Theyre an Austrian company that originated as a spin-off from the University of Graz. They do whats referred to as drug repurposing. As in when an established drug is applied in a new way. Which in itself is not so novel, says founder Christian Gruber. Viagra was originally intended to regulate blood pressure. Thanks to repurposing, it has been given a whole new purpose.

Gruber believes that the main advantage of this research method is the time it takes. It is no longer necessary to conduct clinical trials as the drug has already been approved for use in humans. But how do you discover other applications for established medicines? Gruber and his team developed a powerful search engine for this purpose. Normally, a platform searches for a match between a compound (substance that has the potential to fight a disease) and the virus. But were not looking for a compound. We look, so to speak, inside the void where a compound binds to the virus. This is based on machine learning and weve been working on it since 2011.

Gruber got involved when the genome sequence of the virus was catalogued in one of the three largest DNA databases in the world. We decided right away that whatever happens, we dont want to make a profit from this. This is because we have contacts in China too, its terrible whats happening there right now.

And that worked, because within a few hours the Gruber team came up with what are known as protease inhibitors (substances that prevent the virus from spreading further). The virus has the same structure as the SARS virus. So we explored all the databases that we can access, looking for possible targets. These include HIV inhibitors, for example.

The model that Gruber published was downloaded by researchers all over the world. Incredible. Normally, a handful of researchers in that particular area look at that kind of model. Since we published the model, our inboxes have been overflowing. Were getting proposals for research collaborations from universities and institutes that we would never have dreamed of before.

Gruber is proud of this, yet he doesnt want to take too much credit either. We were the first to publicize it and share it with the rest of the world. But in China, scientists have been working behind the scenes for much longer, reviewing and testing our findings so that they can be quickly tested on people. But its great that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in China are grateful to us and want to continue working with us.

Gruber is currently busy drafting a research proposal for the European Union. The EU has set aside an emergency budget of 10 million for research into the coronavirus. We have scientists from all over the world Oxford, Graz, Harvard, medical universities in Germany and the technical university in Wuhan. Were working on the proposal together with a group of fifty to seventy people.

In the proposal, the scientists want to link various research platforms and databases and provide them with an automated response platform. Think of it as a kind of robot that immediately springs into action in the event of a new outbreak of a virus and searches for available medication that can also be used for that new virus. By joining forces, it should even be possible to find other compounds that may help prevent viruses. The coronavirus in this case.

The best case scenario is that the virus is already under control and we are able to focus on other diseases or viruses, Gruber says. We also want to ensure that all of the information is always available. Luckily it has never happened before but what if an outbreak prevents you from being able to access that information? We want to have secure cloud storage. And we need to make sure that all available platforms can bundle information in a worthwhile way. I am very excited about this project. When it gets off the ground we will be using the most advanced technology available, a dream come true for us.

However, the priority right now is to contain the coronavirus. When I read the reports about cruise ships where people have been infected, I get the shivers. Imagine being aboard one of those ships. I can very well imagine how frightened passengers are. Thats why its so important to have an automated search engine that will quickly come up with viable options. Im not a virologist and I dont have much to say about epidemics, but the sooner resources are available to contain viruses, the better.

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Follow-up: Virologists and supercomputer need to conquer the coronavirus - Innovation Origins

Sometimes The Road To Petaflops Is Paved With Gold And Platinum – The Next Platform

Supercomputing, with a few exceptions, is a shared resource that is allocated to users in a particular field or geography to run their simulations and models on systems that are much larger than they might otherwise be able to buy on their own. Call it a conservation of core-hour-dollars that allows a faster time to model in exchange for limited access.

So it is with the Norddeutschem Verbund fr Hoch- und Hchstleistungsrechnen (HLRN) supercomputing alliance in Northern Germany. The HLRN consortium, which provides calculating oomph for the German federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein, has used a variety of different architectures from different vendors over the past several decades, and as such is representative of mainstream HPC shops that, as we pointed out recently, comprise the majority of the revenue stream in the HPC sector and account for thousands of HPC facilities worldwide. HLRN in particular has a very large number of university and research institution users, at close to 200, all jockeying for time on the system, so adding capacity makes the lines a bit shorter, at least in theory.

The second phase of the HLRN-IV supercomputer, known by the nickname Lise after Lise Meitner, an Austrian-Swedish physicist who was one of the discoverers of nuclear fission in 1939, has fired up recently, and the machine is noteworthy for a few reasons. First, Atos is the prime contractor on the machine, and second, it is based on the doubled-up Cascade Lake-AP Xeon SP-9200 Platinum processors that Intel launched last April and that are employed in custom enclosures that Intel itself manufactures.

Since its founding in 2001, the HLRN consortium has operated a distributed system across two datacenters; one is usually at the Zuse Institute Berlin and the other has been located at Leibniz University in Hannover or at the University of Gottingen. The initial HLRN-I system, which was called Hanni and Berni across its two halves, was comprised each of a 16 node cluster of IBMs RS/6000 p690 servers based on its dual-core Power4 processors, which debuted that year. The p690 machines had 32 sockets and 64 GB of main memory each and were connected by a proprietary federation interconnect that IBM created for its parallel NUMA systems. This HLRN-I machine had 26 TB of disk capacity and had a peak performance of 2 teraflops at 64-bit double precision. You can get a graphics card with way more floating point performance these days, and it fits in your hand instead of taking up two datacenters.

In 2008, these systems were upgraded wit a pair of Altix ICE supercomputers from Silicon Graphics in Berlin and Hannover, called Bice and Hice naturally. This system had a mix of NUMA and scale-out nodes. The NUMA nodes were comprised of a mix of two-socket Altix XE 250 nodes and two-socket Altix UV 1000 nodes using a mix of Xeon processors from Intel (four-core and eight-core chips with fatter memory) and the NUMAlink5 interconnect to share the memory across the 2,816 cores and 12.5 TB of main memory across the 200 nodes in the machine. The regular, scale-out part of each side of the HLRN-II system had a mix of two generations of Xeon processors across its 10,240 cores in 1,280 nodes and a total of 12.1 TB of main memory. Add it all up and the HLRN-II machine had 124.76 teraflops of double precision floating point calculating capacity; this was balanced out by an 810 TB Lustre parallel file system.

Enter HLRN-III in 2013, which we wrote about five years later. This machine, which cost $39 million and which was built in phases like prior systems using a mix of generations. In this case, by Cray based on its Cascades XC30 and XC40 system designs and their Aries interconnect. The HLRN-III systems were nicknamed Konrad and Gottfried and they each used a mix of Ivy Bridge and Haswell Xeon processors, with the Berlin system having a total of 1,872 nodes with 44,928 cores and 117 TB of memory yielding a peak performance of 1.4 petaflops and the University of Leibniz (which is where the Gottfried name comes from, the mathematician and co-creator of calculus) had a total of 1.24 petaflops of oomph and 105 TB of memory across its 1,680 nodes and 40,320 cores. Each machine had a 3.7 PB Lustre file system and a 500 TB GPFS file system.

With the HLRN-IV system, the two halves are not just a little bit different, but really distinct systems that were installed at different times. The Emmy system at the University of Gottingen, which was operational in October 2018, was named after groundbreaking German mathematician Amalie Emmy Noether, who blazed a trail for women in that field as much as Meitner did in physics. The Emmy system at Gottingen had 449 nodes, with 448 of them having just Skylake Xeon SP-6148 Gold processors and one of them having four Volta Tesla V100 GPU accelerators from Nvidia added. Not counting that GPU-accelerated system, Emmy had 17,920 cores across its 448 nodes and 93 TB of memory. These nodes were interlinked with a 100 Gb/sec Omni-Path interconnect from Intel, and its performance was never divulged. Presumably Emmy will be upgraded at some point to deliver the expected 16 petaflops of aggregate performance

The Lise half of the system in Berlin, which is just coming online, has significantly more computational power than that initial Emmy partition in Gottingen. This system currently has 1,180 nodes with 113,280 cores in total using a pair of the Xeon AP-9242 Platinum chips per node, which themselves put two 24 core Cascade Lake processors into a single socket for a total of four chips and 96 cores per node. These nodes are also interlinked with 100 Gb/sec Omni-Path interconnect. This machine is noteworthy in that it is showcasing Intels multichip Cascade Lake-AP processors, which have not really dented the attack by the AMD Epyc processors and which are not exactly taking the HPC market by storm. (We suspect HLRN got a great deal on these Intel Cascade Lake-AP chips and the servers that sport them, with Atos as the system integrator hopefully making some dough.) Back in November 2019, when the Lise system was tested with 103,680 of its cores on the Linpack benchmark, it was rated at 5.36 petaflops, so there must be some pretty big upgrades on the horizon to get to the 16 petaflops and more than 200,000 cores that the final HLRN-IV system (Emmy plus Lise) will eventually encompass. The completed system with all of those 16 petaflops spread across the Berlin and Gottingen sites will cost 30 million, or about $32.6 million.

The interesting bit as far as we are concerned is that the combined HLRN-IV system will have 6.2X more double precision performance at 16.4 percent lower cost than the HLRN-III system it replaced seven years later. This illustrates the principal that we have talked about before, which is that it is far easier to increase the performance of a supercomputer than it is to lower its price. HPC centers have tended to budget linearly over the decades, but it is getting more expensive to make the flops leaps. Still, a 7.4X improvement in bang for the buck over seven years can get a deal done.

We realize that our bang for the buck comparisons are imprecise because of the lack of publicly available data on supercomputer costs over time, but at around $15,000 per teraflops back in 2013, the HLRN-III cluster was twice as expensive per flops as Tianhe-2 system in China, which used GPU accelerators, but about half the price of the all-CPU and very custom PrimeHPC systems from Fujitsu that were inspired by the K supercomputer at RIKEN lab in Japan. The price of systems, particularly those that used accelerators, dropped significantly between 2013 and 2018, and GPU accelerated machines like Summit and Sierra cost just north of $1,000 per teraflops around the time the all-CPU Emmy portion of the HLRN-IV system was going in, which cost $2,038 per teraflops at current euro to dollar exchange rates. Call it two grand.

So in general, all-CPU machines are, it seems, more expensive, and this stands to reason. The programming is harder for GPU accelerated machines, and that costs money, too. Or, you can as many HPC centers do outside of the largest national labs, stick with all-CPU architectures and pay the premium there. GPU-accelerated exascale machines due to be installed in the United States in 2021 through 2023 will cost on the order of $400 per teraflops, and we suspect that all-CPU systems over that timeframe will cost 2X to 3X that per teraflops. None of that counts the facilities or electricity costs that come with the architecture choices, of course. As best we can figure.

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Sometimes The Road To Petaflops Is Paved With Gold And Platinum - The Next Platform

The Role of AI in the Development of Medical Pods – HostReview.com

In the recent period, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has entered the mainstream culture. What's more, AI is growing in popularity at a rapid rate, expanding its reach with each passing day.

Lots of scientists are working on improving the AI experience. They try hard to uplift the human condition and reveal the knowledge that was hidden from the public for so long.

For instance, the so-called Medical Pods are an area where Artificial Intelligence plays a vital role. And yet, few people are aware that such technology even exists.

But don't worry, we got you covered. Our guide on the role of AI will explain everything you need to know about this advanced off-world technology that could save humanity.

In recently published articles, Jared Rand and Ileana, the Star Traveler, have explained the nature of Medical Pods. In essence, these pods are chambers that resemble the beds that we currently use in medicine.

Yet, Medical Pods are not human-created, and this feature provides them with exquisite abilities. For example, they can regenerate tissue and correct imperfections. The entire principle of these beds relies on the use of Tachyon particle energy, which is plasma energy in its raw form. As we all know, plasma energy is everywhere around us.

According to Rand and Ileana, there are three types of medical pods:

Even though they follow the same concept, these three classes can offer different healing capacities. But what is the role of AI in all this? Lets find out.

The collective human consciousness is apprehensive about the potential of Artificial Intelligence. However, the ET technology is free from such prejudice. Moreover, AI plays an integral role in the 3D-5D transition, which is happening as we speak. The so-called Great Awakening is a paradigm shift that should wake up the collective and give birth to a new reality.

When it comes to Medical Pods, AI is not autonomous but it controls many aspects of the chambers. In a way, MRI works on a similar principle.

So, Artificial Intelligence in Medical Pods is a super-computer software with near-endless applications.

Above all else, this system can perform a complete internal analysis of the body. Every tissue and every organ in the body will be subjected to in-depth analysis, down to the micron level. The AI is also able to scan the entire neural network, as well as to perform laparoscopic surgeries.

The bottom line is that the AI can link with the humans vibrational frequency. We can then use the information obtained from the 3D anatomical scanning to cure diseases, heal wounds, and even revive people. With a low error rate and extreme precision, AI-controlled Medical Pods are the future of medicine.

Artificial Intelligence can tackle even the most complex of tasks, and Medical Pods are just the tip of the iceberg. A lot more knowledge lies beyond the reach of the collective human conscience, but we are getting there.

Once Medical Pods are revealed to us, we will be able to use them in a variety of ways. The most important thing is that this advanced technology will save lives and improve the quality of life here on Earth.

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Be More Chill Takes Over London Beginning February 12 – Playbill.com

Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz's Be More Chill begins performances at London's The Other Palace February 12. With a Tony-nominated score by Iconis and a book by Tracz, the musical follows the story of an unpopular teen who takes a supercomputer pill to become coolonly to discover that the A.I. wants to take over the world.

Scott Folan (Mother of Him) plays the role of Jeremy Heere in the U.K. debut, with Blake Patrick Anderson (Closer to Heaven) as Michael. Two alums of the musical Six, Renee Lamb and Millie OConnell, play Jenna and Chloe, respectively.

Joining the quartet are Miracle Chance as Christine Canigula, Stewart Clarke as The Squip, Eloise Davies as Brooke Lohst, James Hameed as Rich Goranski, Miles Paloma as Jake Dillinger, and Christopher Fry as Mr. Heere and Mr. Reyes, with Gabriel Hinchcliffe, Eve Norris, and Jon Tsouras as understudies.

READ: Examining the Legacy of Be More Chill With 5 Members of the Broadway Cast

The creative team includes director Stephen Brackett, choreographer Chase Brock, set designer Beowulf Boritt, costume designer Bobby Frederick Tilley II, lighting designer Tyler Micoleau, sound designer Ryan Rumery, and projection designer Alex Basco Koch. Orchestrations are by Charlie Rosen, with vocal arrangements by Emily Marshall, and musical direction by Louisa Green. U.K. casting is by Will Burton.

A 2015 world premiere of Be More Chill at Two River Theater in New Jersey led to a cast album, which took the internet by storm. An Off-Broadway premiere followed in 2018, quickly selling out and adding an extension to its run, followed by a Broadway production opening in 2019.

Jerry Goehring and Lisa Dozier King serve as executive producers for the U.K. production.

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Be More Chill Takes Over London Beginning February 12 - Playbill.com

Google claims to have invented a quantum computer, but IBM begs to differ – The Conversation CA

On Oct. 23, 2019, Google published a paper in the journal Nature entitled Quantum supremacy using a programmable superconducting processor. The tech giant announced its achievement of a much vaunted goal: quantum supremacy.

This perhaps ill-chosen term (coined by physicist John Preskill) is meant to convey the huge speedup that processors based on quantum-mechanical systems are predicted to exhibit, relative to even the fastest classical computers.

Googles benchmark was achieved on a new type of quantum processor, code-named Sycamore, consisting of 54 independently addressable superconducting junction devices (of which only 53 were working for the demonstration).

Each of these devices allows the storage of one bit of quantum information. In contrast to the bits in a classical computer, which can only store one of two states (0 or 1 in the digital language of binary code), a quantum bit qbit can store information in a coherent superposition state which can be considered to contain fractional amounts of both 0 and 1.

Sycamore uses technology developed by the superconductivity research group of physicist John Martinis at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The entire Sycamore system must be kept cold at cryogenic temperatures using special helium dilution refrigeration technology. Because of the immense challenge involved in keeping such a large system near the absolute zero of temperature, it is a technological tour de force.

The Google researchers demonstrated that the performance of their quantum processor in sampling the output of a pseudo-random quantum circuit was vastly better than a classical computer chip like the kind in our laptops could achieve. Just how vastly became a point of contention, and the story was not without intrigue.

An inadvertent leak of the Google groups paper on the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) occurred a month prior to publication, during the blackout period when Nature prohibits discussion by the authors regarding as-yet-unpublished papers. The lapse was momentary, but long enough that The Financial Times, The Verge and other outlets picked up the story.

A well-known quantum computing blog by computer scientist Scott Aaronson contained some oblique references to the leak. The reason for this obliqueness became clear when the paper was finally published online and Aaronson could at last reveal himself to be one of the reviewers.

The story had a further controversial twist when the Google groups claims were immediately countered by IBMs quantum computing group. IBM shared a preprint posted on the ArXiv (an online repository for academic papers that have yet to go through peer review) and a blog post dated Oct. 21, 2019 (note the date!).

While the Google group had claimed that a classical (super)computer would require 10,000 years to simulate the same 53-qbit random quantum circuit sampling task that their Sycamore processor could do in 200 seconds, the IBM researchers showed a method that could reduce the classical computation time to a mere matter of days.

However, the IBM classical computation would have to be carried out on the worlds fastest supercomputer the IBM-developed Summit OLCF-4 at Oak Ridge National Labs in Tennessee with clever use of secondary storage to achieve this benchmark.

While of great interest to researchers like myself working on hardware technologies related to quantum information, and important in terms of establishing academic bragging rights, the IBM-versus-Google aspect of the story is probably less relevant to the general public interested in all things quantum.

For the average citizen, the mere fact that a 53-qbit device could beat the worlds fastest supercomputer (containing more than 10,000 multi-core processors) is undoubtedly impressive. Now we must try to imagine what may come next.

The reality of quantum computing today is that very impressive strides have been made on the hardware front. A wide array of credible quantum computing hardware platforms now exist, including ion traps, superconducting device arrays similar to those in Googles Sycamore system and isolated electrons trapped in NV-centres in diamond.

These and other systems are all now in play, each with benefits and drawbacks. So far researchers and engineers have been making steady technological progress in developing these different hardware platforms for quantum computing.

What has lagged quite a bit behind are custom-designed algorithms (computer programs) designed to run on quantum computers and able to take full advantage of possible quantum speed-ups. While several notable quantum algorithms exist Shors algorithm for factorization, for example, which has applications in cryptography, and Grovers algorithm, which might prove useful in database search applications the total set of quantum algorithms remains rather small.

Much of the early interest (and funding) in quantum computing was spurred by the possibility of quantum-enabled advances in cryptography and code-breaking. A huge number of online interactions ranging from confidential communications to financial transactions require secure and encrypted messages, and modern cryptography relies on the difficulty of factoring large numbers to achieve this encryption.

Quantum computing could be very disruptive in this space, as Shors algorithm could make code-breaking much faster, while quantum-based encryption methods would allow detection of any eavesdroppers.

The interest various agencies have in unbreakable codes for secure military and financial communications has been a major driver of research in quantum computing. It is worth noting that all these code-making and code-breaking applications of quantum computing ignore to some extent the fact that no system is perfectly secure; there will always be a backdoor, because there will always be a non-quantum human element that can be compromised.

More appealing for the non-espionage and non-hacker communities in other words, the rest of us are the possible applications of quantum computation to solve very difficult problems that are effectively unsolvable using classical computers.

Ironically, many of these problems emerge when we try to use classical computers to solve quantum-mechanical problems, such as quantum chemistry problems that could be relevant for drug design and various challenges in condensed matter physics including a number related to high-temperature superconductivity.

So where are we in the wonderful and wild world of quantum computation?

In recent years, we have had many convincing demonstrations that qbits can be created, stored, manipulated and read using a number of futuristic-sounding quantum hardware platforms. But the algorithms lag. So while the prospect of quantum computing is fascinating, it will likely be a long time before we have quantum equivalents of the silicon chips that power our versatile modern computing devices.

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Hands-on review: Alienware m15 r2: supercomputer or superweapon? – FutureFive New Zealand

Alienwares latest creation, the m15 r2 gaming laptop, is a testament to how much punch the evil scientists at Alienware could pack into a fifteen-inch laptop, without skimping on portability.

The m15 is a seriously cool laptop. From unboxing it from its glossy black box to the final chime of the Windows setup, everything feels refined, simplistic and highly polished.

Somehow, the m15 manages to combine the chic of a Tesla with the power of a superweapon.

But with a $2800 price tag, your own Death Star is probably a cheaper option.

With laptops tending to lean towards the bezel-less, paperthin frame popularised by the Macbook and Surface Pro, its refreshing to see a computer manufacturer trying something different. The ice-white colour is pretty synonymous with Alienware by this point, and the m15 is no different. It definitely has its curves, and it flaunts them where it can.

Dell seems to have noticed the little things, too. From the glowing ring around the end of the power cord, to the grinning alien logo that doubles as a power button, the attention to detail helps to complete the package.

Visually, it just looks good.

But you cant ignore its flaws.

Mainly, the gigantic horizontal cooling fan Frankenstein-ed to the laptop behind the screen. The mega-fan might have something to do with the weight, too, which is frankly an issue. Coming in at a little over 2kg, it isnt something to hold while you walk around the room in a conference call. Thankfully, with the weight brings sturdiness, with everything from the hinges to the screen feeling sturdy enough to handle even the most careless laptop user.

Dimension-wise, the m15 is somehow sleek and bulky at the same time. What matters most is that its sleek enough to shimmy into a backpack, which realistically is the greatest test of a laptop a test it passes with flying colours.

Where the m15 really begins to shine is its performance.

The m15 is powered by the latest and greatest ninth-generation Intel i9 core, and together with an obscenely powerful RTX 2080 graphics card and 16GB of DDR4 RAM, the computer has no difficulty running the hottest games on the market. From Halo Reach to the latest Call of Duty, everything eventually falls to the m15. The RTX graphics card also allows for ray tracing in compatible games, offering a level of futureproofing not typically found in laptops.

The 15-inch OLED display is crisp to a fault and makes gaming and entertainment a pleasure. Colours are vibrant, and the thin bezel surrounding the screen is inoffensive. The laptops speakers are surprisingly good too, with the snazzy honeycomb-style speakers sitting pretty above the keyboard.

Speaking of the keyboard, I found it had a surprising level of functionality when using it, although I wouldnt go writing any novels on the m15 anytime soon.

When I slammed the oversized cooling fan earlier, I may have been a bit harsh. For what it is, the laptop creates some heat, and mounting the fan behind the screen is innovative and pretty smart by Alienware. Keeping it out of sight and out of mind, the fan is surprisingly quiet.

While this is realistically a gaming PC hidden within a laptop, the Alienware m15 definitely doesnt forget its roots. Its brilliant display and crisp sound are definite winners, while the performance is enough to rival most high-end gaming computers. Despite its unforgiving weight, the m15s surprising portability and sturdiness is definitely something to be commended.

The m15 isnt for the faint of heart: its a commitment a commitment to the bulky lifestyle the m15 brings. You can expect to groan as you lift it out of your bag but can also expect a gaming experience that can compete with the best of them.

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Hands-on review: Alienware m15 r2: supercomputer or superweapon? - FutureFive New Zealand

Giant Planets Could Form Around Tiny Stars in Just a Few Thousand Years – Universe Today

M-type (red dwarf) stars are cooler, low-mass, low-luminosity objects that make up the vast majority of stars in our Universe accounting for 85% of stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone. In recent years, these stars have proven to be a treasure trove for exoplanet hunters, with multiple terrestrial (aka. Earth-like) planets confirmed around the Solar Systems nearest red dwarfs.

But what is even more surprising is the fact that some red dwarfs have been found to have planets that are comparable in size and mass to Jupiter orbiting them. A new study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has addressed the mystery of how this could be happening. In essence, their work shows that gas giants only take a few thousand years to form.

The study, which recently appeared in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, was the work of Dr. Anthony Mercer and Dr. Dimitris Stamatellos of the UCLan Jeremiah Horrocks the Institute for Mathematics, Physics & Astronomy (JHI MPA). Dr. Mercer, an Astrophysics Reader with the JHI MPA, led the research under the supervision of Dr. Stamatellos, who leads the institutes Theoretical Star formation & Exoplanets group.

Together, they studied how planets could form around red dwarf stars to determine what mechanism would allow for the formation of super-massive gas giants. According to conventional models of planet formation, where the gradual build-up of dust particles leads to progressively bigger bodies, red dwarf systems should not have enough mass to form super-Jupiter-type planets.

To investigate this discrepancy, Mercer and Dr. Stamatellos used the UK Distributed Research using Advanced Computing (DiRAC) supercomputer which connects facilities at Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, and Leicester University to simulate the evolution of protoplanetary discs around red dwarf stars. These rotating discs of gas and dust are common around all newly borns stars and are what eventually lead to planet formation.

What they found was that if these young discs are large enough, they can fragment into different pieces, which would coalesce due to mutual gravitational attraction to form gas giant planets. However, this would require that the planets form within a few thousand years, a timescale that is extremely fast in astrophysical terms. As Dr. Mercer explained:

The fact that planets may be able to form on such short timescale around tiny stars is incredibly exciting. Our work shows that planet formation is particularly robust: other worlds can form even around small stars in a variety of ways, and therefore planets may be more diverse than we previously thought.

Their research also indicated that these planets would be extremely hot after they form, with temperatures reaching thousands of degrees in their cores. Because they dont have an internal energy source, they would become fainter over time. This means that these planets would be easy to observe in the infrared wavelength when they are still young, but the window for direct observation would be small.

Still, such planets could still be observed indirectly based on their effect on their host star, which is how planets orbiting red dwarf stars have typically been found. This is known as the Radial Velocity Method (aka. Doppler Spectroscopy), where changes in the stars spectra indicate that it is moving, which is an indication of planets exerting their gravitational influence on it. As Dr. Stamatellos added:

This was the first time that we were able not only to see planets forming in computer simulations but also to determine their initial properties with great detail. It was fascinating to find that these planets are of the fast and furious kind they form quickly and they are unexpectedly hot.

These results are nothing if not timely. Recently, astronomers detected a second extrasolar planet around Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our own. Unlike Proxima b, which is Earth-sized, rocky, and orbits within the stars habitable zone; Proxima c is believed to be 1.5 times the size of Earth, half as massive as Neptune (making it a mini-Neptune), and orbits well-outside Proxima Centauris habitable zone.

Knowing that there is a possible mechanism that allows gas giants to form around red dwarfs stars puts us a step closer to understanding these entirely-common, but still-mysterious stars.

Further Reading: UCLan, Astronomy & Astrophysics

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Giant Planets Could Form Around Tiny Stars in Just a Few Thousand Years - Universe Today

What will happen when robots have taken all the jobs? – Telegraph.co.uk

To some this will sound like a nanny-state hellscape, and Susskind does not shy from calling his proposed solution The Big State. He does not, however, go into detail about how exactly the community will decide which activities are worthy of payment. Perhaps we will be subject to the tyranny of a slim majority that decides dog-breeding, classical music or literary criticism are valueless activities, in which case no one will ever do them again.

But the moral objection to UBI that it will encourage laziness and anomie is always at bottom a puritan condescension. If one asked Susskind whether, if he never had to worry about money, he would just spend all day watching reruns of Bake Off and slumping into potato-ish ennui, he would probably deny it. So why assume it of everyone else?

As it turns out, Bertrand Russell anticipated this objection 90 years ago: It will be said that while a little leisure is pleasant, men would not know how to fill their days if they had only four hours work out of the 24. Insofar as this is true in the modern world it is a condemnation of our civilisation; it would not have been true at any earlier period. There was formerly a capacity for light-heartedness and play which has been to some extent inhibited by the cult ofefficiency.

Modern sceptics might still dismiss Russells argument as a Fabian pipe-dream, but the cult of efficiency is still very much abroad, and it is indeed what is driving the race to automation. Susskinds careful analysis shows that it will be an increasingly unignorable problem, even if his proposed solution will not convince everyone. At the last gasp, he even drops in the alarming recommendation that our future politicians should guide us on what it means to live a flourishing life, in the face of which prospect one might after all be happier to resign oneself to a robot apocalypse.

A World Without Work is published by Allen Lane at 20. To order your copy for 16.99, call 0844 871 1514 or visit the Telegraph Bookshop

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