Search this exhibition America on the Move America on the Move explores the role of transportation in American history.
Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity — technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light.
For complete details, see below. Until I return to a further explanation, however, do read the first sentence of this paragraph carefully.
Now back to the future: Our forebears expected the future to be pretty much like their present, which had been pretty much like their past. Although exponential trends did exist a thousand years ago, they were at that very early stage where an exponential trend is so flat that it looks like no trend at all.
So their lack of expectations was largely fulfilled. Today, in accordance with the common wisdom, everyone expects continuous technological progress and the social repercussions that follow. But the future will be far more surprising than most observers realize: Bill and I have been frequently paired in a variety of venues as pessimist and optimist respectively.
When people think of a future period, they intuitively assume that the current rate of progress will continue for future periods. However, careful consideration of the pace of technology shows that the rate of progress is not constant, but it is human nature to adapt to the changing pace, so the intuitive view is that the pace will continue at the current rate.
Even for those of us who have been around long enough to experience how the pace increases over time, our unexamined intuition nonetheless provides the impression that progress changes at the rate that we have experienced recently.
So even though the rate of progress in the very recent past e. It is typical, therefore, that even sophisticated commentators, when considering the future, extrapolate the current pace of change over the next 10 years or years to determine their expectations.
But a serious assessment of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential. In exponential growth, we find that a key measurement such as computational power is multiplied by a constant factor for each unit of time e. Exponential growth is a feature of any evolutionary process, of which technology is a primary example.
One can examine the data in different ways, on different time scales, and for a wide variety of technologies ranging from electronic to biological, and the acceleration of progress and growth applies. What it clearly shows is that technology, particularly the pace of technological change, advances at least exponentially, not linearly, and has been doing so since the advent of technology, indeed since the advent of evolution on Earth.
I emphasize this point because it is the most important failure that would-be prognosticators make in considering future trends. That is why people tend to overestimate what can be achieved in the short term because we tend to leave out necessary detailsbut underestimate what can be achieved in the long term because the exponential growth is ignored.
The Law of Accelerating Returns We can organize these observations into what I call the law of accelerating returns as follows: Evolution applies positive feedback in that the more capable methods resulting from one stage of evolutionary progress are used to create the next stage.
As a result, the rate of progress of an evolutionary process increases exponentially over time. In another positive feedback loop, as a particular evolutionary process e.The s were all about rationing, protein stretching, substitutions, rediscovering "grandma's foods", and making do with less.
Home cooks made sugarless cookies, eggless cakes, and meatless rutadeltambor.comoks, magazines, government pamphlets, and food company brochures were full of creative ideas for stretching food supplies. Technology in the 's Timeline created by AS In Science and Technology.
May 16, The LASER The LASER was invented byTheodore Maiman. It is now used to read blue-ray. LASER is an ancronym and stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Technology from Although the Pill is associated with the sexual revolution of the s, it was actually created in the ‘50s.
The FDA approved the Pill in , but only for cases of severe menstrual disorders and not as a contraceptive. The IT revolution drives the extraordinarily rapid decline in the cost and rapid increase in the processing power of digital technologies. The digital device whose technological advance has perhaps been most crucial to the IT revolution is the microprocessor, the collections of millions of tiny circuits that serve as the “brains” of personal computers and that are embedded in an ever.
Industrial Revolution During the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, pollution became a major problem with the introduction of the steam engine and a series of technological advances that led to the production of goods shifting from homes and small factories to .
An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense intuitive linear view. So we won't experience years of progress in the 21st century -- it will be more like 20, years of progress (at today's rate). The returns, such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially.