Predicting the future is something our society both fears and finds intriguing at the same time. In a way, it would be incredibly scary to know what the future holds, yet we cannot help but be curious about it. Building a computer to predict the future is a very real possibility. Exascale computers may be the tool we need to address some of our biggest challenges, although their accuracy will always remain in question.
Using an Exascale Computer To Predict the Future
Our society relies on computers for virtually everything these days. Most of us use some form of a computer without even realizing it. We are not talking about desktop PCs or laptops, but also consoles, smart devices, tablets, phones, and the like. All of these machines are computers in their own way, although none of them are particularly powerful. They are especially impotent compared to supercomputers, as those devices effectively blow any regular computer out of the water without effort.
Some people may question the use of supercomputers in the first place. Right now, they are used for predicting weather and natural disasters, among other things. To accomplish those tasks, one needs access to very powerful and sophisticated hardware. Unfortunately, no system in the world is capable of modeling complex biological systems. For example, moving the entire world onto renewable energy cannot be calculated properly with supercomputers due to their lack of processing power. To do so, we need an exascale computer.
As the name somewhat suggests, an exascale computer is very different from traditional supercomputers. It will take a massive amount of funding and research to even comprehend how such a machine would be built. The US Department of Energy has created a US$258 million fund for companies working on the components of an exascale computer. It will require a high degree of collaboration before such a monstrosity can even be created on paper, let alone put together in real life.
The US is not the only nation working on an exascale computer these days. Japan and China are both working on similar projects. The importance of winning this arms race cannot be overstated, as an exascale computer can effectively predict the future in many different ways. It is even capable of fully understanding the present, something even the most brilliant human minds often struggle with to this very day. Whoever builds the first machine of this kind will effectively control the economy on a global level.
Other benefits to an exascale computer include finding answers and solutions to climate change and coming up with new ways to grow food. Right now, it is impossible to fully comprehend either scenario, let alone come up with ways to improve these situations. A predictive system is direly needed, or at least one that is far more accurate compared to today’s tools. No one knows how long it may take before such a solution comes to market, though.
While some people see stronger and more powerful computers as evil, it is necessary to embrace the technology at our disposal. This is especially true when it comes to building a sustainable future. An exascale computer would not be an unnecessary luxury. Our human brains cannot prepare adequate solutions to the world’s biggest problems, often due to political agendas. With accurate prediction models, there will be little to no room for discussion regarding these matters.