Models and Theories in Human-Computer Interaction/Accelerating towards Singularity
On Kurzweil (Tyler Liechty)
Kurzweil provides evidence that the pace of technology is (conservatively) exponential. He points out that computing power has been on an innovation pace that shows exponential growth even when displayed on an exponential scale. This is not the refinement of a single technology or approach, but the continued inclusion of new technologies that are made possible by the previous technological advances. As the computing capacity increases and cost decreases further advances are made feasible. He provides several examples of this, but almost all of them are related to the recent develop of computers. This advancing pace propagates through paradigm shifts. This is illustrated well by computer memory storage. Originally magnetic drum memory was used and was improved by mechanical innovations, but as this approach was refined and gains began to slow a shift was made to rotating discs that provided a large jump in computing capacity and a drop in cost. As rotating discs have been pushed to spin faster and better utilize space this technology in turn slowed its pace of innovation. This allowed for the rise of solid state memory as the predominant medium. Solid state memory has been growing to provide faster access and more storage for the same package size and cost. Solid state memory has begun to slow in its pace of innovation. New methods are waiting in the wings, some waiting to be the next in line, and others which are still not feasible with current technology, but are waiting for advances to bring them into use.