While the first iteration(s) of Safe Network will be fundamentally about storage, I’ve heard that in future the API will extend to providing, effectively, an instruction set that could be used for general purpose computing over the network itself, with all the power available through all of the available nodes. While I’m not clear on the details of this, I’ve also heard commentary and speculation to the effect that we will have cost-effective access to an unprecedented level of compute power, ie, a supercomputer of extraordinary power that could conceivably be used by anyone for any purpose. I find this a particularly exciting prospect if it’s true.
Reference to the Bitcoin network, which some commentators claim has now reached 256 times the power of the top 500 supercomputers in the world combined, is tantalising. (Yes, this needs to be heavily qualified, especially because the Bitcoin network only does one thing, ie, is special purpose, rather than general purpose).
I’m asking, do people think this is correct, will I be able to structure a really difficult computing problem, throw it at the network, and get back a solution for a fraction of what that would cost me today on a commercial time-share?
I think an important distinction is also in that, bitcoin computing power is application specific. Safe Network stands to offer application agnostic general computing, that could reach 256 times the power of the top 500 supercomputers if met with the same adoption
That’s what I’m thinking, yes, General Purpose Supercomputer, but with totally democratic access. Has anyone run any specific numbers? What could we realistically expect, vs numbers of nodes, given that the network also has to keep doing what it does to manage data, security, privacy, etc? Could a task be constructed that would swamp the network (an intentional or unintentional attack?).
The maidsafe foundation will hold a few safecoins and will use these to raise cash, but I also hope it will use these to pay for computing for innovators and medical research etc. (it is part of it’s objectives to do so) . It is worth people noting, that although I set up the foundation and gave it my shares in MaidSafe that I designed to to work without me and I hold no seat or position in the foundation. I do intend to apply for assistance form it and hopefully if I have good enough designs they will help, but they have zero obligation to me, which I like a lot.
I would like to see this happen and also the SAFE network to be able to not have a search engine, but a neural network cycling though semantic data similar in many ways to http://www.cyc.com/ to answer questions. So we would know where governments spend cash, raise cash, kill people and much more. I see it as forcing the ultimate truth on us and I think we need it to evolve further.
So yes there will be computation, but I feel more than that there will be the ability for the network to gather medical research, scans, test results and provide targeted medicine and end surgery and unneeded deaths, hopefully much more.
I never lack ambition or optimism, but these are worth working for and working through the critics to make happen and with SAFE and resources then it is all much simpler to do so.
[There I managed to get through that without mentioning physical computing, unusual for me ]
Only if we get it all wrong, the “halting problem” has been pretty much solved now and we can use that solution (zk-snark again) to make sure there is no infinite recursion or over eager processes in place.
To account for selling computation for safecoin, I feel like one would need to know in advance how much cpu it is going to require,
Given a program P and time bound T, the system allows for proving correct execution
of P, on any input x, for up to T steps, after a one-time setup requiring O˜(|P| · T) cryptographic
first thing I found googling zk-snark and That ^^ is what I was trying to say; probably there is a better way of doing this, though I imagine if you wanted to compute on the network, you could load up safecoins and an app can automatically deduct safecoin and continue to pursue computations until there is a result, or until the safecoins run out.
And it would be good if the state of ones computations can be saved so that the person can reevaluate their funding and continue the computations from the point it left of if they feel its worth spending more on.
Hey David, that is such an inspiring response, thank you. I find these ideas so uplifting.
It’s surprising how quickly many people’s minds snap to the dark side when faced with new possibilities. When I first started telling people about bitcoin, is was always, “ah, great for drug dealers and human slavers… blah blah” The same with SafeNetwork. One friend in particular, who really gets the potential, is always expecting ‘the government’ to step in and ‘shut it down’. Yeah, OK, he doesn’t completely get it.
So, the spectacular human potential that can be realised through Safe is something to absolutely insist upon. We must insist upon a really strong interpretation of utilitarianism, we must be ‘act utilitarianists’, in that we are looking for the greatest good, and we are not asking for permission.
Wow, what can I say? Yes please?
I recall you talking about the unforgiving ocean, an irresistible truth, like that, huh?
Sure would beat spending tax money on robots to kill strangers in far off lands. I wonder, if faced with irrefutable truths, outside of political spin, wether humanity will actually wake up and act?
Thanks so much for chipping in David, I have no idea how you get the time, but you do, and I’m grateful for that.
Plus a lot more, MaidSafe has a huge amount to do going forward and all on SAFE. There will be many more innovations and many of these will come via the foundation. SAFE is a seed though it will grow forests, nobody should depend on us growing everything but were not going anywhere