Note: The reason this post took three weeks to finish is that as I dug into research on Artificial Intelligence, I could not believe what I was reading.It hit me pretty quickly that what’s happening in the world of AI is not just an important topic, but by far THE most important topic for our future._______________ Imagine taking a time machine back to 1750—a time when the world was in a permanent power outage, long-distance communication meant either yelling loudly or firing a cannon in the air, and all transportation ran on hay.
When we imagine the progress of the next 30 years, we look back to the progress of the previous 30 as an indicator of how much will likely happen.
When we think about the extent to which the world will change in the 21st century, we just take the 20th century progress and add it to the year 2000.
All in all, because of the Law of Accelerating Returns, Kurzweil believes that the 21st century will achieve 1,000 times the progress of the 20th century.2 If Kurzweil and others who agree with him are correct, then we may be as blown away by 2030 as our 1750 guy was by 2015—i.e.
the next DPU might only take a couple decades—and the world in 2050 might be vastly different than today’s world that we would barely recognize it. It’s what many scientists smarter and more knowledgeable than you or I firmly believe—and if you look at history, it’s what we should logically predict.
This is for the same reason we just discussed—the Law of Accelerating Returns.
The average rate of advancement between 19 was higher than the rate between 19—because the former was a more advanced world—so much more change happened in the most recent 30 years than in the prior 30.
It was a different world, yes—but if the movie were made today and the past took place in 1985, the movie could have had bigger differences.
The character would be in a time before personal computers, internet, or cell phones—today’s Marty Mc Fly, a teenager born in the late 90s, would be much more out of place in 1985 than the movie’s Marty Mc Fly was in 1955.
This experience for him wouldn’t be surprising or shocking or even mind-blowing—those words aren’t big enough. But here’s the interesting thing—if he then went back to 1750 and got jealous that we got to see his reaction and decided he wanted to try the same thing, he’d take the time machine and go back the same distance, get someone from around the year 1500, bring him to 1750, and show him everything.
And the 1500 guy would be shocked by a lot of things—but he wouldn’t die. The 1500 guy would learn some mind-bending shit about space and physics, he’d be impressed with how committed Europe turned out to be with that new imperialism fad, and he’d have to do some major revisions of his world map conception.