What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby TheChewanater » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:51 pm UTC

yavinfour wrote:Hey how about making a nice full-length CGI film in less than a week using that infinitely fast computer.


How would having an infinitely fast computer speed up the process?
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Josephine » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:53 am UTC

TheChewanater wrote:
yavinfour wrote:Hey how about making a nice full-length CGI film in less than a week using that infinitely fast computer.


How would having an infinitely fast computer speed up the process?


Brute-force and check for something? you'd need some damn good AI for that.

Also, hi chewanater. nice to see independent forum meetings.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby TheChewanater » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:16 am UTC

nbonaparte wrote:
TheChewanater wrote:
yavinfour wrote:Hey how about making a nice full-length CGI film in less than a week using that infinitely fast computer.


How would having an infinitely fast computer speed up the process?


Brute-force and check for something? you'd need some damn good AI for that.


Maybe. But even if program like that could be written without regards to efficiency, it would take years and likely hundreds of experienced programmers.


Also, hi chewanater. nice to see independent forum meetings.

What? I'm not sure what you mean.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Josephine » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:11 am UTC

TheChewanater wrote:Maybe. But even if program like that could be written without regards to efficiency, it would take years and likely hundreds of experienced programmers.


true. But as long as you have a quantifiable goal, you can make the computer do it for you.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Agent_Irons » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:05 pm UTC

Okay, why not brute-force over the space of all programs less than a certain (runtime*length) looking for one that returns the prime factorization of all primes less than say, 10k bits in length? It probably doesn't exist, but checking for it would be a good idea. Just keep expanding the length*runtime product limit and find the shortest possible program capable of breaking most current crypto. It doesn't matter if your infinitely fast computer is isolated from the internet at large if you can do that.

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Agent_Irons » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

What I mean is that if you found such an algorithm you would likely have discovered a new branch of mathematics or at least something cool about primes we didn't know yet. There are a lot of ways to expand human knowledge in more fundamental ways than compiling a huge list of primes(not that I wouldn't want one, of course). For example, solving Goldbach's Conjecture one way or the other would be pretty cool.

By looking for short algorithm solutions to complex problems, you can use theory about numbers that hasn't been invented yet. And who doesn't like the future?

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby BlackSails » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:25 pm UTC

Agent_Irons wrote:For example, solving Goldbach's Conjecture one way or the other would be pretty cool.


Thats easy to do.

For n=1 to n=inf
if (2n) cannot be written as a sum of two primes, print "False"
Print "Goldbach test done"

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Xanthir » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:17 pm UTC

Goldbach's conjecture is entirely uninteresting, though, which was Agent_Irons's point. It's not the solution that matters, but the path that you took to get there. Fermat's Last Theorum is mostly uninteresting as well, but the attempt to prove it resulted in great advances to certain fields of math.

Bruteforcing the space of all possible algorithms, though, could possibly give you some interesting results, which Agent_Irons alluded to.

On topic: The presence of an infinitely-fast computer is proof that we are almost certain to be living in a simulation (see the link to "I don't know Timmy, being God's a pretty big responsibility" earlier in the thread for further details). Thus I'd use the computer to unmake reality and reshape it into something more suitable. A world where gravity isn't quite so strong, things which are fuzzy and cute are safe to touch (like tiger cubs!), pain and pleasure are equally easy/difficult to achieve (right now pain is *way* easier to cause, heighten, and prolong than pleasure is. We rarely experience anything that feels as good as a stubbed toe feels bad.), and where life is always interesting and full of adventure. That seems to be a decent first-level approximation of a universe perfected for human enjoyment.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:17 pm UTC

Don't forget to move stellar objects closer to each other so space travel is easier.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Xanthir » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:40 am UTC

Stellar objects? That requires that space exists. Space is full of vacuum, which isn't very conducive to life at all. Why not just have infinite planes? Presumably with easy wormhole technology.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby cogman » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:14 pm UTC

I'd program up an infinitely big and deep neural network, then I would train the network to understand English. Finally, I would release the network onto the internet and watch the chaos as skynet takes its first baby steps (It will probably end up being a troll)

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby EduardoLeon » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:18 pm UTC

Or we all could switch to using abstract syntax trees as a form of communication, which seems more feasible, in the mathematical sense.

Back to what we could do with an infinitely fast computer, we would invent n-dimensional and perhaps non-Euclidean chess and solve it.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby TheChewanater » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:04 pm UTC

cogman wrote:I'd program up an infinitely big and deep neural network, then I would train the network to understand English. Finally, I would release the network onto the internet and watch the chaos as skynet takes its first baby steps (It will probably end up being a troll)


How do I know someone didn't already do that, and the entirety of XKCD is made up of its many alt accounts?
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:04 pm UTC

How do you know you aren't a sockpuppet?
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby EduardoLeon » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:56 pm UTC

How do you know I'm not that troll neural network?
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby TheChewanater » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:36 pm UTC

How do I know I'm not?
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Josephine » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:43 pm UTC

TheChewanater wrote:How do I know I'm not?
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby asiekierka » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:18 am UTC

C-C-COMBO BREAKER!

also,
With an infinitely fast computer, I'll set it up to find out how to generate quantum particles and compose them into a human being. Then I'd inject them into myself and use my enhanced consciousness to make everyone think I can fly. :mrgreen:
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby BlackSails » Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:54 pm UTC

asiekierka wrote:C-C-COMBO BREAKER!

also,
With an infinitely fast computer, I'll set it up to find out how to generate quantum particles and compose them into a human being. Then I'd inject them into myself and use my enhanced consciousness to make everyone think I can fly. :mrgreen:


You are made out of "quantum particles"

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Tyr_oathkeeper » Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:56 am UTC

I'd have it emulate an infinite number of infinitly fast computers. Then I'd run some sort of evolving program on each, and see where natural selection gets me. Maybe I'd get one of those new mind scanner things that lets you simulate force-lifting something, and become a techno-jedi. Or use my new powers for lazyness, either way.

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Skraxt » Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:23 am UTC

Chase it.

/me ducks.


More seriously, I don't know how to approach building the software for such a device. I guess having it generate random combinations of 1s and 0s until it made a combination that caused it to figure out that I wanted to generate a combination of 1s and 0s for the purpose of asking it questions that nobody will be able to answer for a long time, if ever.

After that I suppose it would be a bit conceited of me to not have it tell me which question I wanted answered first. And then the answer to that would lead to the next question I assume (or possibly the answer to the first question would be what the NEXT question I should ask would be... And on and on, forever (and after that I cannot guess)) .
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby hintss » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:02 am UTC

5 words: BOINC

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Xanthir » Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:34 am UTC

That sounds like a really bad idea, actually. Your bandwidth serves as a *massive* rate limiter.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:54 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:That sounds like a really bad idea, actually. Your bandwidth serves as a *massive* rate limiter.

Not if you also simulate the internet!
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Xanthir » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:19 pm UTC

All right, you got me there.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby Squid Tamer » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:23 pm UTC

This feels like something that is prohibited by some law of computability, but wouldn't a infinitely powerful (Or even sufficiently powerful) computer be able to use hashes as compression?

I.e.,say that it computed that the hash of the Wikipedia database is 4ed36c9a1d3ca4aaf67807a4a174ef6b, and then brute force that hash to find that the database is the 16th smallest possible plaintext of that hash. It could then send all of wikipedia as a very short value, like 4ed36c9a1d3ca4aaf67807a4a174ef6ba ('a' meaning 16). The second infinite computer could then brute-force all of the possible things that would hash into 4ed36c9a1d3ca4aaf67807a4a174ef6b, and then select the 16th smallest of those.

Is there any particular reason that this wouldn't work? (I suppose you could end up with two results of the same length, though... I guess the first computer could check for that and fix it somehow, by adding some preset 'ignorable bits'.)

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby andy33gmail » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:42 pm UTC

I.e.,say that it computed that the hash of the Wikipedia database is 4ed36c9a1d3ca4aaf67807a4a174ef6b, and then brute force that hash to find that the database is the 16th smallest possible plaintext of that hash. It could then send all of wikipedia as a very short value, like 4ed36c9a1d3ca4aaf67807a4a174ef6ba ('a' meaning 16). The second infinite computer could then brute-force all of the possible things that would hash into 4ed36c9a1d3ca4aaf67807a4a174ef6b, and then select the 16th smallest of those.


Yes and no.

I think the problem with that is you'd find it wasn't the 16th, but a number considerably larger ...

... put it this way; if the second machine doesn't know anything about Wikipedia and its distribution of bits, its entropy will be just that ... so it cannot, on average, be expressed in fewer bits than it used to start with. That is to say, that when you're taking the nth hash, n will be the same number of bits long as the original database (minus the length of the hash)

On the other hand, there will be patterns - like the html template, and the frequency distribution of characters in the English language. As such, you could get the entropy down. What you're talking about therefore is making a compression / decompression algorithm. And presumably, with an infinite amount of computation, you can compress anything down to its entropy ... since Shannon's theorem states such a coding exists, we can at the very least brute-force all the combinations of entropy codings

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby notzeb » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:52 pm UTC

To everyone who says simulate a ray-tracer: you have no imagination. I would solve the path integral for every photon! Diffraction gratings will be no match for my graphics card! Heck, let's even simulate virtual particles!

Next, I would have it find the shortest program that plays go perfectly and with the smallest {largest amount of time it would take to calculate the optimal next move from a given position [including the time it would take to find the next move in a large look-up table, if that was how the program was structured]}. If that program is too long or slow, I would have the computer find the best possible probabilistic approximation to it.

I would write an AI that tries to simulate a human-level mathematical intelligence (using some of the self-administered Turing test ideas given here, say). Then I would find, for every open problem in math, the solution to that problem which is easiest for the simulated human-level intelligence to understand. Then I would read through the solutions. Next, I would have it design an optimal curriculum for the human level intelligence to gain as much problem solving ability as possible within a year, and follow that curriculum. At this point, I would probably be the smartest person on earth. Why not have it design the ultimate martial art as well?

Once I'm done doing this, it might be a good idea to destroy the machine to stop anyone else abusing its power (of course, I should keep the one year curriculum, ultimate martial art, and optimal go playing program stored somewhere safe).
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby andy33gmail » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:15 am UTC

I would see whether it could boot vista and copy a 1MB file from a USB drive within my lifetime

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:40 am UTC

I would see if it could run Windows ME without crashing.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby andy33gmail » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:19 am UTC

Actually.

If we accept that the hard disc will get a wrong bit after every 10^12 bits, or whatever the standard is these days ... and every other component too ...

With the computer running ANY OS, even at idle - even something as brilliant as Windows me (vomit) unless it sat with absolutely no disc activity, isn't it guaranteed going to crash after some amount of time?

This raises another question. Suppose we had a halting machine handy (and who doesn't?), and we restarted it every time the computer accidentally modified its internal state into one which doesn't terminate ... i.e. automatically killed it every time it crashed ... would this neccessarily mean we ran every possible computer program one after another? Or is there maybe some determinism that limits the number of states?

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby TheChewanater » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:40 am UTC

andy33gmail wrote:Actually.

If we accept that the hard disc will get a wrong bit after every 10^12 bits, or whatever the standard is these days ... and every other component too ...


I think that with infinite speed and hard drive space we can also assume no errors.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby andy33gmail » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:26 am UTC

I suppose, we can use as much redundancy as we want - just repeat everything

unless Intel made our processor and you want floating point

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby TheChewanater » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:04 am UTC

With infinite speed we can double check everything. Although this would mean 1 in 10^24 would be incorrect, which is still bad if it preforms an infinite number of actions per second.

Why not have it repeat every operation it performs infinity times? Then it can easily find any errors.
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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby andy33gmail » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:28 am UTC

Yep, that's what I was referring to with redundancy. Should work so long as:

a) It has no deterministic bugs (see joke in my previous post)
b) We have uncountably infinite instructions ... otherwise (correct me Mathematicians), we can't to an infinite number of instructions in sequence if we do each an infinite number of times - since if we ever move onto the next, we've only done the previous a finite number of times ...

but I think these are assumptions people have already made :-)

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby phlip » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:50 am UTC

andy33gmail wrote:b) We have uncountably infinite instructions ... otherwise (correct me Mathematicians), we can't to an infinite number of instructions in sequence if we do each an infinite number of times - since if we ever move onto the next, we've only done the previous a finite number of times ...

The union of countably many countable sets is countable. You have to tinker with the ordering a bit to interleave them, but it's possible.

For instance, you could perform step 1, then double-check step 1 and perform step 2, then double-check steps 1 and 2 and perform step 3, etc. Every step ends up being performed and then double-checked a countably infinite number of times, with a grand total of a countable number of operations.

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby andy33gmail » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:57 am UTC

Right, but can we interleave in general? Or is it possible to get two infinite for loops, where stuff in the second loop depends on the infinitieth instruction in the first ...

And isn't instruction scheduling np-complete ... that brings in some new issues.

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby phlip » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:05 am UTC

andy33gmail wrote:Right, but can we interleave in general? Or is it possible to get two infinite for loops, where stuff in the second loop depends on the infinitieth instruction in the first ...

I'unno, it depends on exactly what you mean by "infinitieth instruction"... maybe you can, maybe you can't.

andy33gmail wrote:And isn't instruction scheduling np-complete ... that brings in some new issues.

Pff. We're using an infinitely-fast computer here. Complexity classes are totally not our problem.

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby hintss » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:37 am UTC

fold.it heaven

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Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Postby LuminaryJanitor » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:18 pm UTC

Something a CS professor pointed out a while ago, to illustrate the size of combinatorial search spaces:

If you enumerated all possible 24-bit 1600x1200 bitmap images, you'd have photos of all your favourite celebrities engaging in all manner of obscene acts.

So to answer your question, pictures of me nailing Jessica Alba.

Of course, you'd want a fairly robust screening process, because there'd be just as many pictures of me nailing John Candy...
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