The Future of Computing: A Conversation with John Hennessy


Dr. John Hennessy is a leading computer scientist who was the President of Stanford University and is now the Chairman of Alphabet. In May 2018, Dr. Hennessy presented a keynote talk at the Google I/O developer conference. He spoke about the future of computing in the context of the ending of Moore’s Law and the onset of artificial intelligence. Energy efficiency has become critical, and is limiting the performance of advanced processors. He focused on the need for “domain-specific architectures” and “domain-specific languages” that will enable the design and programming of special-purpose processors optimized for different applications. This differs from the general-purpose processors of earlier generations, and will enable accelerated performance without faster transistors. This will require closer integration of hardware and software with applications throughout the design phase, preferably including consideration of cybersecurity. Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) based on neural networks are finally making major impacts on system performance.

Current CMOS technology should be sufficient for the next decade, but other technologies (neuromorphic, quantum) may be needed for further progress.

For other videos from Google I/O 2018, see here