Kurzweil's Law -- Moore's Law Generalized
Ray Kurzweil, famous inventor and AI philosopher, has a fascinating article on "The Law of Accelerating Returns" that generalizes on Moore's Law and reaches stunning conclusions about the past and the future of technology.
- The driving force in Moore's law (that of accelerating returns or positive feedback) are a natural consequence of evolution. It explains biological evolution as well as technological evolution, when humans came to be and could bring about technological changes at a faster rate through applied knowledge rather than mere chance.
- The next stage after technological evolution, will occur when machines evolve to acquire human intelligence, and that may actually arrive in a few decades. If we are able to create and clone en mass machines that duplicate or exceed human intelligence (and, since it would be a simple instant download, robots would not require years of education), possibilities become endless.
- There's also the reverse phenomenon where machines augment our body, not to mention the possibility of genetically programming our future offspring. We see elements of this today with successful mind-machine interface experiments where machines attached to our nerves can be controlled through mere thoughts.
- According to Kurzweil's law, the twentieth century has seen about 25 years of progress at today's rate of change, while the end of the next century will see about 24000 years of change using today's current rate of technological change
- Computer hardware computational capacity will achieve on human brain capability for $1000 in 2023 for $1000 (down to 1 cent in 2037) and one humand race capability for $1000 in 2049 (down to 1 cent in 2059.)
- Kurzweil also discusses a singularity where technology change appears to occur at an infinite rate.