Exponential Technologies

Exponential Technology is a pretty new phrase from two well-known terms. Exponential and Technology are both extremely powerful constructs by themselves. Combined, the impact on your life will be off the charts. Exponential, in the case of Technology,  refers to scale in size, speed, costs reduction as it relates to Technology.

A significant driver of technology in general is computing. Computing is made up primarily processors, memory and storage. Each of these components is improving exponentially by halving in price and doubling in capacity and performance every 18 months or so (Moore’s Law).

Today we are walking around with devices that a few decades ago would require computing power housed in buildings as big as a city block, costs millions and did little in comparison to what is in our pocket. We now have access for free to the nearly all of the world’s knowledge and connectivity to most everyone on the planet.

As of last year, you can customize your own thinking/doing machine with some variety of Customizable Maker Computer for as little as $20.  In 18 months these will halve in price and size and double in speed again. Very soon, these computing brain devices will disappear into things all around us, including ourselves. Here’s one:

Tummy problems? Just swallow this stomach-repairing origami robot made of meat | Ars Technica Magnetically controlled robot may fix lesions and remove accidentally-eaten batteries.

Just one example from 2016.  Exponential Technology is real and just about everywhere you look, assuming you do.

And that’s not the half of it (pun intended). But I digress…

With respect to how we live our lives, Exponential Technology can be thought of as significantly faster, cheaper and better. There used to be a fundamental construct in systems development that for any given advance, you could “choose any two” of Faster, Cheaper and Better.  But, with Exponential Technology, we can see that all three of those goals are not only possible but happening in technology all around us in many different areas at the same time.

Here is Peter H. Diamandis in one of his terrific videos. This one regards Exponential Technology.

To get a personal feel for what has happened in the life of someone born 20 years ago, let’s look at that Smart Phone of yours again. It didn’t exist. A few years before, a few wealthy folks walked around with a Briefcase phone, or one that required a car or a satellite to operate costing more than most people made in a year.

But, just about a couple of decades ago, it was beginning to be clear to some that the computer and the Smart Phone (and lot’s of other technologies) were about to take a ride on the Exponential Technology  wave.

Hard to argue that our Smart Phones are not exponentially better, just a few years after they were invented. The world of knowledge in your hand, the ability to broadcast live around the world and apps that replace a room full  of hardware. And that brain power can. and will be, implanted in just about anything to do just about anything.

And, most importantly, the Exponential Technology overlaps. As Smartphones got faster, cheaper and better all at the same time, so did many things around them and connected to them. The Internet, cellular networks, processing power, storage, memory and many other things were accelerating through faster, cheaper and better paradigms along with many other exponential technologies.

The speed this is happening, and what it means, is hard for us mere mortals to comprehend, even though we are right in the middle of it. Exponential Technology is racing forward, and bringing us with it.

So, what can we do to maximize the results of all this. Here is Astro Teller’s Ted Talk video on the subject:

Technology is the domain of humanity. And most of the earliest of our useful technological discoveries and inventions are still with us, just in more robust forms.

Fire, hand tools, the wheel, writing, language and many others were brought forth to us by our ancestors over hundreds of generations. Technology once took centuries to fundamentally improve. Flash forward to the last 100 years or so.

The Wright Brothers first  mechanized, heavier than air flight occurred  in 1903.  63 years later in 1969, Neil Armstrong proclaimed his step onto the moon as one small step for man and one “Giant Leap” for mankind. Giant Leap indeed.

In 1976, we landed on Mars. In 2013, the spaceship Voyager left our Solar System. It is billions of miles away.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX became the fourth entity to achieve space orbit with only China, Russia and the United States preceding him. Next year, it looks like you can have your own satellite for $1000 bucks.

You Can Send This Tiny Satellite Into Space For Just $1000 Personal space exploration just got affordable.

Now that’s a fast moving world, and not an anomaly.  Exponential Technology is all around us in more and more synergistic technologies. Innovations in one technology often dramatically improve many other technologies in very different technology sectors.

Today, there are Giant Leaps all around us in the technological terrain. While it is often startling when one sees the individual innovations at eye level when you take it all in, the changes happening around us are breathtaking. The future is still inconceivable in some sense, but, it is surely coming much faster.

Ray Kurzweil agrees:

 

Ray Kurzweil’s Four Big Insights for Predicting the Future

 

Most want to know what is going on with technology and Exponential Technology in particular?  Many want to know how they can be involved and benefit from the shifts in human capability through exponential technology beyond being a consumer. Some are already actively engaged in driving the exponential trajectory of a small set of core technologies that will change the nature of who we are.

We have a global market, again because of Exponential Technologies coming together. I you got 1% of the 8 billion (80 million?) a profit of a penny a unit you get $8,000,00. $1 is $80,000,000. WOW.

Exponential Technologies are dramatically changing our world at a faster and faster rate.  The impact of this technology acceleration will have an extreme impact on all our lives in many ways. In other words, heads up!

Exponential-Technology.com is organized in a user friendly way to let you follow your instincts in learning about this fascinating and important topic. While researching this topic for a variety of my own reasons I created this site as an experiment and doing my thinking “out loud”.  Feel encouraged to Contact Me with any suggestions, questions or other thoughts if so inclined.

I recommend first browsing the “Theory” of the ever increasing speed and inevitable impact of Exponential Technology. This is located within the tabs/subtabs at the top right of the website (Exponential Technologies, Forces, History and Sectors) to provide the context. On the right sidebar (Search, Tag Cloud, Tags, Recent Posts, etc.) are recent Exponential Technology News Articles (“the Facts”) of what is actually happening.

For example, here are some quick examples of a few things that got real just last year:

5 Future Technologies That Got Real in 2016 | RealClearFuture This has been such a horrible year for politics that some people were wishing for a giant meteor to strike the Earth and put us all out of our misery—and they were only half-joking. But there…

Find another year in all of history where such world changing technologies came to be. It pays, often literally, to note the dramatic speed in which things are occurring and that the speed of this type of change will be even faster.  If that sounds wrong, check out the Exponential-Technology.com History Page for context of how fast things are really moving.

Many of the Sectors also operate as Exponential Technologies and have great influence on the speed of technology beyond their own Sector.  For example, Processors not only accelerate in speed and cost reduction exponentially, they apply across most, if not all, technology sectors.

This acceleration is much easier for us to see as processing technology has come so far.  The Smart Phone many of us have in our pockets has more processing capability than a room full of computers just a few decades ago. And, while the processing power increases exponentially, the prices has halved every couple of years or so.

As this happens, there are other things to consider. While we have gone through technological shifts before, many agree, it is different this time. In this next industrial revolution, we will become partners with machines.

Erik Brynjolfsson frames it as “The  Economics of Abundance”.

Processor speed, data storage,  internet, software, crowd tools, etc. are tools that increase speed in general. And, most technology sectors employ most of these in their advance. As more sectors employ multiple of these accelerating technologies, the speed will be jaw dropping and the disruption will be even more extreme. And it is continuing to get faster and faster.

And Exponential Technology is not just faster and cheaper, but in many ways better too…

Applying leverage, as described in these pages, is  a primary force in the advancement of technology. It is where a lot of the speed and scale is coming from. This in common, extreme leverage available is accelerating  technological capability and is a pretty good metaphor for where to look to view Giant Leaps in technology. Others copy, replicate and accelerate even faster across sectors.

Click the link in the blurb below from Economist.com to see Exponential Technologies in the context of the Third Industrial Revolution.

A third industrial revolution | The Economist OUTSIDE THE SPRAWLING Frankfurt Messe, home of innumerable German trade fairs, stands the “Hammering Man”, a 21-metre kinetic statue that steadily raises and…

What about you and Exponential Technology?

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