Rate of progress: slowing or speeding up?

from the US-News-vs-Reason dept.
Tony (asnapier) writes "Here are two articles that are very much worth reading: #1 The Slowing Rate of Progress and #2 [mentioned on nanodot earlier] More More More Nanotechnology and the Law of Accelerating Returns Which one is correct? The initial reaction is to say #2. I have come to the conclusion that geometric growth will only happen if strong AI is realized — which of course, is the very definition of Vinge's singularity. What if strong AI does not emerge? Then the argument for slowing growth appears valid — human minds and mundane information systems would be the bottleneck to rapid advancement (you have to read the articles for the proper context — of course science and technology advance every day — but a new dvd player does not count as a fundamental improvement of the human condition)." CP: The US News piece ends: "Perhaps another Thomas Edison is hard at work, using nanotechnology or bioengineering to invent new machines that are truly revolutionary and transforming. But he or she has not succeeded yet."

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