It pervades every facet of our life.
Early observations[ edit ] In during the town planning conference of London Daniel Burnham noted that "But it is not merely in the number of facts or sorts of knowledge that progress lies: One conversation centered on the ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.
Moore's law describes an exponential growth pattern in the complexity of integrated semiconductor circuits. Moravec extends this to include technologies from long before the integrated circuit to future forms of technology. Moravec outlines a timeline and a scenario   in which robots will evolve into a new series of artificial species, starting around — Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind, published inMoravec further considers the implications of evolving robot intelligencegeneralizing Moore's Law to technologies predating the integrated circuitand also plotting the exponentially increasing computational power of the brains of animals in evolutionary history.
Extrapolating these trends, he speculates about a coming "mind fire" of rapidly expanding superintelligence similar to the explosion of intelligence predicted by Vinge. James Burke's Connections[ edit ] Main article: Burke contends that one cannot consider the development of any particular piece of the modern world in isolation.
Rather, the entire gestalt of the modern world is the result of a web of interconnected events, each one consisting of a person or group acting for reasons of their own motivations e.
The interplay of the results of these isolated events is what drives history and innovation, and is also the main focus of the series and its sequels. Burke also explores three corollaries to his initial thesis.
The first is that, if history is driven by individuals who act only on what they know at the time, and not because of any idea as to where their actions will eventually lead, then predicting the future course of technological progress is merely conjecture.
Therefore, if we are astonished by the connections Burke is able to weave among past events, then we will be equally surprised to what the events of today eventually will lead, especially events we weren't even aware of at the time. The second and third corollaries are explored most in the introductory and concluding episodes, and they represent the downside of an interconnected history.
If history progresses because of the synergistic interaction of past events and innovations, then as history does progress, the number of these events and innovations increases. This increase in possible connections causes the process of innovation to not only continue, but to accelerate.
Burke poses the question of what happens when this rate of innovation, or more importantly change itself, becomes too much for the average person to handle, and what this means for individual power, liberty, and privacy. Hawkins elucidated his notion of 'mindsteps', dramatic and irreversible changes to paradigms or world views.
He identified five distinct mindsteps in human history, and the technology that accompanied these "new world views": One can't help noticing the acceleration.
The date of the next mindstep 5; the series begins at 0 is given aswith two further, successively closer mindsteps in anduntil the limit of the series in His speculations ventured beyond the technological: None of the mindsteps can be said to have been truly anticipated, and most were resisted at the early stages.
In looking to the future we may equally be caught unawares. We may have to grapple with the presently inconceivable, with mind-stretching discoveries and concepts.
Mass use of inventions:When the new technological system starts to promise commercial opportunities, we have reached the ‘irruption’ phase of the cycle. At this point the economic logic of the new system is starting to become evident and there is a promise of a new ‘Techno-Economic Paradigm’ (TEP).
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