Like in 1990 when he predicted that a computer would beat a pro chess player by 1998, which came true in 1997 when Garry Kasparov lost to IBM’s Deep Blue.
(Now, in 2016, a computer has mastered the even more complex game Go—an accomplishment not expected by some experts for another decade.) We’re only 15 years into the 21 century and the progress has been pretty stunning—the global adoption of the Internet, smartphones, ever-more agile robots, AI that learns.
A decade ago, smartphones (as we know them by today’s standards) didn’t exist.
Three decades earlier, no one even owned a computer.
Being exponential, as it turns out, is all about evolution.
Let’s begin with biology, a familiar evolutionary process. Recorded within the DNA of living things are blueprints of useful tools known as genes.
That’s because over the last five decades the number of transistors—or the tiny electrical components that perform basic operations—on a single chip have been doubling regularly.
This exponential doubling, known as Moore’s Law, is the reason a modern smartphone affordably packs so much dizzying capability into such a small package.
Think about that—the first personal computers arrived about 40 years ago.
Today, it seems nearly everyone is gazing at a glowing, handheld computer. In his book , Kurzweil shows technology’s quickening pace and explains the force behind it all.