Science and Technology

Supercomputers and Superintelligence by Horst Simon

The Deputy Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (University of California) was the invited speaker of another lecture held within the partnership between Técnico and the US embassy in Portugal – American Corners.

Last Monday, May 14, professor Horst Simon, Deputy Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (University of California), gave a lecture entitled «Supercomputing and Superintelligence». The lecture was held within the partnership between Técnico and the US embassy in Portugal – American Corners and focused on the present and future of supercomputers as well as on the fears and expectations that have been created around them.

Professor Horst Simon explained, in simple terms, how Microelectronics is everywhere, highlighting the growing importance and influence of the Internet of Things, the challenges of technologies namely electricity supply and the lack of public debate on high performance computing (HPC) and supercomputers. When asked if “HPC and artificial intelligence will come to outperform human intelligence?” the Deputy Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory answered two different ways: “Yes, nowadays there are super intelligent computers; no, computers will never overcome human consciousness until we know it well enough”, he stressed.