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Home > News & Events > Events & Lectures > Foresight Conferences > The 1st Adv. Nanotech. Conf. > Abstracts

An Exponentially Expanding Future from Exponentially Shrinking Technology

Ray Kurzweil*

Kurzweil Technologies

This is an abstract for a presentation given at the
1st Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology:
Research, Applications, and Policy

Audio as 16.1 MB MP3
149 slides and 2 movies:
Slides 1-15 as 8.1 MB PDF
Slides 16-30 as 4.8 MB PDF
Slides 31-45 as 2.9 MB PDF
Slides 46-60 as 836 KB PDF
Slides 61-72 as 2.8 MB PDF
Slide 73 as 488 KB JPG
Slides 74-149 as 2.4 MB PDF
Respirocyte animation as 10.21 MB MPG
Translation demo as 13.4 MB MPG


The paradigm shift rate is now doubling every decade, so the twenty-first century will see 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate. Computation, communication, biological technologies (for example, DNA sequencing), brain scanning, knowledge of the human brain, and human knowledge in general are all accelerating at an even faster pace, generally doubling price-performance, capacity, and bandwidth every year. The well-known Moore’s Law is only one example of many of this inherent acceleration. The size of the key features of technology is also shrinking, at a rate of about 4 per linear dimension per decade, leading to ubiquitous nanotechnology in the 2020s. Three-dimensional molecular computing will provide the hardware for human-level "strong" AI well before 2030. The more important software insights will be gained in part from the reverse-engineering of the human brain, a process well under way.

The fraction of value of products and services comprised by information is rapidly asymptoting to 100 percent The deflation rate for information technologies, both hardware and software, is about 50 percent per year, providing a powerful deflationary force in the economy. Despite this, the information technology industry grows around 18 percent per year, now comprises 8 percent of the GDP, and is deeply influential on the rest. Within a couple of decades, the bulk of the economy will be dominated by information and software.

Once nonbiological intelligence matches the range and subtlety of human intelligence, it will necessarily soar past it because of the continuing acceleration of information-based technologies, as well as the ability of machines to instantly share their knowledge. Intelligent nanorobots will be deeply integrated in the environment, our bodies and our brains, providing vastly extended longevity, full-immersion virtual reality incorporating all of the senses, experience "beaming," and enhanced human intelligence. The implication will be an intimate merger between the technology-creating species and the evolutionary process it spawned.

*Corresponding Address:
Ray Kurzweil
Kurzweil Technologies

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