ZDNet: “An “exponential gap” is opening up between our understanding of our world, which updates slowly, and new technologies, which change faster than we can cope with, argues Azeem Azhar… The exponential growth of computer power led the inventor Ray Kurzweil to propose the Law of Accelerating Returns and predict that by 2045 machine intelligence will pass that of humans — a.k.a. the Singularity. In Exponential: How Accelerating Technology is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It, Azeem Azhar begins with the perception that Kurzweil’s take was too narrow and that exponential growth is taking place in no less than four converging sectors: computing, energy, biology, and manufacturing. In energy, the cost of renewables is plummeting. In biology, the cost of genome sequencing is doing the same. The first human genome took 13 years and $3 billion; today anyone can get theirs done for $200 in a few days and fast sequencing was part of why we got covid vaccines so soon. In manufacturing, 3D printing is rapidly improving, and offers entirely new possibilities for creating everything from buildings to organs. Taken together, the world we’re hurtling into will look quite different. Azhar credits Kurzweil for recognising that the biggest contributor to our perception that it’s ‘accelerating’ is the parallel development and interaction of different technologies. The result, Azhar writes, is an “exponential gap” that’s opening up between our understanding of our world, which updates slowly, and the arriving technologies, which change faster than we can cope with. In this book, and in the Exponential View podcast and newsletter that preceded it, Azhar, who has been a journalist, a multiple company founder, and a venture capitalist, says he wants to straddle CP Snow’s Two Cultures — art and science — in order to understand the impact of all these new technologies on society…”
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