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Techno progress is ending?

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From the Edge:

Ubiquitous computing, or the Internet of things, is all supposed to disappear. The problem is, is it going to disappear into us? What could possibly go wrong? There is an argument that these machines are going to replace us, but I only think that’s relevant to you or me in the sense that it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t happen in our lifetime. The Kurzweil crowd argues this is happening faster and faster, and things are just running amok. In fact, things are slowing down. In 2045, it’s going to look more like it looks today than you think.

Readers?

But see also: Will robots really take over? That depends. It depends on what people can do that machines can’t do.

It’ll be interesting.

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3 Replies to “Techno progress is ending?

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    I think humans are better at detecting design than machines.

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    Most excellent, esteemed Mung!

  3. 3
    Eric Anderson says:

    In fact, things are slowing down. In 2045, it’s going to look more like it looks today than you think.

    I wouldn’t say technology is slowing down, but I definitely agree that in 2045 things are going to look awfully similar to today. For ages people have been saying “By year xxxx we’ll have [insert fantastical new technology here] . . .”

    Insert whatever you want: flying cars, cold fusion, regular tourism to mars, robots taking over the world, warp drive, transporters, whatever.

    Not that those things can’t happen. Eventually. It is just so much harder to actually do the design, the engineering, the production, the implementation, the adoption and so on than futurists tend to think. The real on-the-ground realities of putting far out new technologies into the world, and then getting widespread adoption, are no mean feat. So the years come and go, even generations sometimes pass, and here we still are without many of the things that were supposed to happen in the 80’s or the 90’s or by the turn of the century. Another 30 years? Yeah, our electronics will be smaller, more embedded devices will exist, technology and information will continue to explode. But we’ll still not have lots of flying cars or hoverboards or half the other things Back to the Future thought we’d already have by now.

    So many futurists (like the current clamor about robots taking away all our jobs) seem to approach technology the same way Darwinists approach biological technology, with a simplistic, almost naive vision:

    “Gee, here is something that looks kind of like something else. What if it were to change a bit here and a bit there? Golly, we’d end up with something totally different in a surprisingly short amount of time. After all, we don’t really need to look at all the engineering constraints and details. We can just imagine that this could happen.”

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