Acceleration Novel Thesis

Acceleration Novel Thesis-41
Most technology forecasts ignore altogether this “historical exponential view” of technological progress.That is why people tend to overestimate what can be achieved in the short term (because we tend to leave out necessary details), but underestimate what can be achieved in the long term (because the exponential growth is ignored).

Most technology forecasts ignore altogether this “historical exponential view” of technological progress.That is why people tend to overestimate what can be achieved in the short term (because we tend to leave out necessary details), but underestimate what can be achieved in the long term (because the exponential growth is ignored).From the mathematician’s perspective, a primary reason for this is that an exponential curve approximates a straight line when viewed for a brief duration.

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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.

You will get $40 trillion just by reading this essay and understanding what it says. (It’s true that authors will do just about anything to keep your attention, but I’m serious about this statement.

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.g., doubling every year) rather than just being added to incrementally.

Recently a Noble Prize winning panelist dismissed Bill’s concerns, exclaiming that, “we’re not going to see self-replicating nanoengineered entities for a hundred years.” I pointed out that 100 years was indeed a reasonable estimate of the amount of technical progress required to achieve this particular milestone –in only 25 calendar years.

When people think of a future period, they intuitively assume that the current rate of progress will continue for future periods.There’s even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth.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.Until I return to a further explanation, however, do read the first sentence of this paragraph carefully.) Now back to the future: it’s widely misunderstood.Our forebears expected the future to be pretty much like their present, which had been pretty much like their past.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.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.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.

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