ARE YOU THE type of person who sees a sign that says “Don’t touch this bench, the paint is wet,” and you go ahead and touch it to make sure the paint is really wet?

Maybe you are inclined to believe what you are told even if the information contains facts that defy believability. You trust what you are told and accept the facts without a second thought. Is it because you don’t care or have become jaded to hearing information that seems impossible?

Does anything shock you? Maybe you’re the person who didn’t want to speak up when originally told a whopper, then kicked yourself for not saying something when the facts were debunked.

There was a news article recently about artificial intelligence (AI) chips that caught my attention. A skeptic said AI is no match for natural stupidity, but AI is going to rule our lives in the very near future.

The report said there is an AI chip that uses only 75 watts of power to perform 368 trillion operations per second. This is according to the Linley Group. AI chips need this kind of computing power to make autonomous driving vehicles possible.

Tenstorrent, based in Toronto, Canada, makes a chip named Grayskull which can mimic the human brain in that they are designed to ignore redundant information and focus on the mathematical operations common to AI inference such as matrix multiplications.

I don’t know what to say about chips that can perform 368 trillion operations per second. If that isn’t fast enough, I’m sure there are chip architects working day and night dreaming up ways to build chips to do 500 trillion operations per second. I guess if I’m riding in an autonomous vehicle on a five-lane highway going 70 mph, the chips running the show can’t be fast enough.

How does one measure 368 trillion functions per second? That’s 23,345 sentences per second. Heaven help us all if one of those chips has a glitch and only performs 250 trillion operations per second. How would we know?

Another “aha” moment.

When the following happened about a year ago, I wondered if it was an event to celebrate or was it a warning of imminent doom.

It was a big deal when Apple beat out two or three other companies to reach a market cap of $1 trillion. It was a race between Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet (Google). That’s a mind-boggling number for a market cap. In fact, anything more than $600 billion was a level that took the business world decades to achieve.

But now, here’s the stunner. Once the $1 trillion barrier was breached, Apple went from $1 trillion market cap to $2 trillion in about six months. How was that possible? That move probably created thousands of new millionaires and a host of new billionaires almost overnight. It may have happened during the pandemic.

For the record, and this could change quickly, the top market cap companies are now Apple at $2.2 trillion, Saudi Aramco at $2.05 trillion, Microsoft at $1.7 trillion, Amazon at $1.6 trillion and Google at a measly $1.2 trillion. Is this hysteria an omen of over exuberance that portends dark days ahead?

Most of these trillion-dollar giants are less than 50 years old. Don’t be surprised if a handful of new start-up companies, ones you haven’t even heard of yet because they are less than five years old, don’t soar into the $1 trillion stratosphere as they “change life as we know it,” and that will create even more millionaires and billionaires.

While talking about “out of this world” numbers, astronomers aren’t to be outdone. They tell us our little Milky Way galaxy holds somewhere between 200 and 400 billion stars, according to the European Space Agency’s Gaia Mission.

If that doesn’t impress you, astronomers believe the universe contains more than 2 trillion galaxies, many of which are larger than the Milky Way. When we talk about taking manned-trips to Mars, that’s not much more than a quick trip to your mailbox in comparison.