Technological advancements have been exponential since the first wheel was invented. Since then, technology, and what it brings us, has been rapidly advancing. But just how fast is technology advancing?
Gordon Moore is the co-founder of Intel, and back in 1965, he observed that the number of transistors on a microchip double around every two years, whilst the cost to produce them halves. Moore’s observation went on to become a prediction which is the now recognised rule known as Moore’s Law.
The processing power in the mobile phones we all hold in our hands today would have once filled an entire building back in the 60s. Computers are a million pounds cheaper, they are a million times smaller and they are thousands of times faster than what they once were. This exponential acceleration into these technological advancements is both exciting and a little nerving.
But Just How Fast Is Technology Advancing?
…It’s pretty dam fast. And here’s a few telling stats;
- There are over 1.40 million tech startups today
- The AI market across the globe is expected to reach $89.9 billion
- By 2025, it is expected that there will be 38.6 billion smart devices collecting, sorting, analysing and sharing data
- 70% of all tech spending is forecasted to be spent on cloud solutions
- By 2025, the internet web hosting services industry is expected to reach $77.8 billion
The Acceleration Of Modern Technologies
So every two years computer processing chips double in speed, and as of 2019, Samsung packed a massive 2 trillion transistors into their 1 terabyte V-NAND flash memory chip. I mean, things are getting crazy small and crazy fast these days.
As the famous futurist, Ray Kurzweil once said, “our intuition about the future is linear. But the reality of information technology is exponential, and that makes a profound difference. If I take 30 steps linearly, I get to 30. If I take 30 steps exponentially, I get to a billion”.
Jason Silva also says it best in this video – “technology is imagination exteriorised. Technology is our creativity literalised”
Our accelerated technologies are advancing into the realms of science fiction, and that shit is exciting. Well, not the bit in the movies where you see the conflicts between humans and machines…this isn’t what our advancing technology is going to look like. No. The technology and machines we are creating are being brought into existence as tools to expand our own reach and potential.
When Does Technology Stop Accelerating?
Until we have the entire universe at our fingertips?
So we know the speed that our technology is advancing is doubling every 2 years or so: does that mean then, that in a few more short years, computers are going to have the emotional intelligence to convince their makers that they are also in fact human beings.
Or perhaps, when our quantum computing is so powerful – when we’re relying on the quantum world of superpositions and entanglement – why would we continue to live our lives outside in the real world? When we harness the power to simulate the whole universe exactly as each person would like it, would we even choose to ‘exist’ at all?
Heck, maybe that’s why we have never made contact with any advanced civilisations yet – perhaps they’re all out there playing in their own little (big) internal worlds too…
‘Technology comes through us but not from us and although it’s with us it belongs not to us’. Technology is merely ‘a scaffolding of mind’, used to extend our reach and our presence. Although we may not be able to accurately answer how fast technology is advancing, all I do know is that during this disruptive age where Intel are already fabricating their 10nm Enhanced SuperFin (10ESF) microchip architecture, things are getting pretty fast and very, very, very small.
Could this be the accelerated technologies, human-machine civilisation moving us to an event horizon where we literally move into our own imaginations? Will we be questioning what universal human experiences is actually ‘real’
Or moving us towards a technological singularity?
Now that’s a post for another day, I think…