Is technological growth currently stagnating?


Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
Northern part of European lowland
The point being that Go was considered the next AI challenge, an order of magnitude more difficult than chess. And the program has now improved by playing itself, and human players have said it has used strategies they have never seen. In other words, in a few months, the program has surpassed the sum total of human knowledge of the game.

The technology will have other applications.
There is a lot of promising possibillities. Some promisses will probably be fulfilled, othwers not. As Some of the developments expected in the past have for some time been part of our daily lives, where on the other hand it is not hard to find things that was more or less expected that is still very far out in the imagined future.


Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
Yeah, AI will work from the top down --first as an advisor, then taking away jobs, robots will work from the bottom up. Human workers = toast.
We are now worrying about aging population and shrinking population; what an irony there!


Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
Yes, but your desktop computer is orders of magnitude more powerful than anything that existed in the 90s.

I am quite frankly baffled by those who see technological progress as slowing. Every day at work I sit with a little laptop running analyses that would have required a specialised lab at MIT when I was a child, because that sort of processing power didn't exist. You can see this sort of thing as 'just virtual' if you like, but the whole industry in which I work could not function in the way it does

I carry a library around in my pocket. When it runs out of power I can recharge it using universal sockets found (for example), in buses and taxis. We have bus stops that broadcast wireless internet signals!

If that's not scifi enough for you we have probes landing on other planets and asteroids and broadcasting back to earth. We have artificial satellites in orbit around the sun.

Someone else mentioned CRISPR. We can edit the genomes of living organisms! And to come back to processing power again - look at how we analyse genomic data. The human genome project took a well funded consortium 15 years. Nowadays a graduate student can sequence a genome, and I can run analysis on this on my home computer in spare time that would have produced a major research publication for a university team 15 years ago.

Technology is progressing at an unprecedented rate. I am a still a young man, and yet the world I live in is completely unlike the world in which I lived as a child. Even in Italy.
Being 10 years "younger" than I usually appear, I can testify a few things:
I don't carry a "library" around; then, I can imagine the physical size of all the web novels that I read last year (about 30 million Chinese characters long); currently, I am on a book called Good Sense without God by Baron d'Holbach.
I am currently overwhelmed by the availability of books on the Internet.
As far as computers are concerned, the computers in the 1980s and 1990s were mostly for games and word processors; today, they are much more capable. High speed Internet alone makes the difference, and it almost ends the audio-video sales.
I do a few things:
Watching videos, editing videos, word processor, etc.
I said that my taste for gaming died more than ten years ago.
Tablets and smart phones? Usually too small for my taste.
Then, we can talk about TVs; they are usually larger and clearer than their previous generations.
Stainless steel items are also much more common than previously.
Some are complaining about slow air traffic, lower quality housing, and many other aspects of stagnation.