Accelerating Change 2005. September 16-18, Stanford University. Artificial Intelligence and Intelligence Amplification. Transforming Technology, Empowering Humanity

How Does Computation Affect our Environment?

Some familiar and less familiar examples:

Moore's Law. In 1964, Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, noted that CMOS transistor density doubles reliably every 18-24 months. In 1999, Ray Kurzweil noted this doubling trend has held for at least 110 years. What new products and services will this enable in 2015? In 2025?

Dickerson's Law. In 1977, Richard Dickerson, professor of physical chemistry at Caltech, noted that solved protein crystal structures had risen from one in 1961 to 23. He published a simple exponential formula which predicted that by March 2001, scientists would have solved 3-D structures for more than 12,000 proteins. He was only 57 short of the actual number. What other physical processes are so predictably computation dependent?

Smith's Law. In 1999, Alvy Ray Smith, Microsoft graphics guru and co-founder of Pixar, said "Reality is 80 million polygons." Joi Ito notes that Toy Story had 5-6 million polygons per frame. Toy Story 2 had twice that. Our best digital faces today have 100 motion control points. The actual Reality Transition may be 800 million polygons per frame and thousands of control points. We will reach that threshold within 15 years. What then?

There are many other trends we could consider. Which have the most relevance to your professional and institutional future? Come to AC2005 and make this determination for yourself.

Key Questions
How does computation affect our environment?
What is accelerating technological change?
Why is accelerating change important?
What is the universal story of accelerating change?
What is the "technological singularity" hypothesis?
Where might accelerating change take us in the 21st century?
What are our main benefits and risks with regard to accelerating change?
How do we improve the study of accelerating change?


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