Is technological change accelerating?

by NancyLebovitz1 min read21st Dec 201036 comments

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Eliezer said in a speech at the Singularity Summit that he's agnostic about whether technological change is accelerating, and mentions Michael Vassar and Peter Thiel as skeptical.

I'd vaguely assumed that it was accelerating, but when I thought about it a little, it seemed like a miserably difficult thing to measure. Moore's law just tracks The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit.

Technology is a vaguer thing. Cell phones are an improvement (or at least most people get them) in well-off countries that have landlines, but they're a much bigger change in regions where cell phones are the first phones available. There a jump from a cell phone that's just a phone/answering machine/clock to a smartphone, but how do you compare that jump to getting home computers?

Do you have a way of measuring whether technological change is accelerating? If so, what velocity and acceleration do you see?