from the Palm-Pilot-will-be-smarter-than-we-are dept.
Senior Associate Ka-Ping Yee (ping) writes "For a recent keynote talk i gave on the future of technology, i put together a chart of computing power based on the data in Ray Kurzweil's book, The Age of Spiritual Machines. I wasn't too happy with the readability of the chart in the book, so i asked myself "What would Tufte do?" and tried to design a clearer layout. A couple of things to note (if you have not already read Kurzweil's book):
- The vertical scale is a log scale, yet the best fit is not a straight line. It still curves upward slightly. (Try to fit a straight line and you'll see that it doesn't work.)
- We aren't just plotting maximum available computing power here — it's computing power available for a modest amount of money ($1000 in 1999 dollars).
- All the data, except for the last point (the Athlon) is taken from the book.
What do you think? Are we on schedule? Any bets for when the computational power of an affordable desktop machine will approach the computational power of a human brain? "