TECH: Technology accelerating technological progress

Max More (
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 15:59:44 -0800

I'm compiling a list of technologies that accelerate overall technological
progress, especially those technologies most relevant to augmenting the
human body and brain. The list also includes creative machines, i.e.,
software that generates novel results. My existing list follows. I'd
appreciate any suggested additions or details on things already listed (or
places where I can find the details, preferably on the web).

What I'm looking for are examples not of technologies that directly
constitute changes to humans (such as cochlear implants, artificial
retinas, etc.), but technologies that accelerate the development of such

Things that accelerate progress in ways that may speed up development of
technologies that augment humans:

Faster chips.
DNA computers, protein memory.
Quantum computers.
Optical computing.
3-D modelling of biochemistry.
Fuzzy logic search algorithms to detect patterns in genes.
Hypertext, agents, database search tools for digging through massive
amounts of information. (Specific examples of such tools?)

Technologies that accelerate development of human augmentations:

Computer-aided design.
Simulation of biochemical systems to discover effective new drugs (specific
examples of this?)
Faster genome sequencing.
DNA chips for testing sequences of DNA to determine function. (Also
positional cloning to discover disease-causing genes and maybe
ability-carrying genes.)
MRI, PET, and other brain scanning technologies.

Computers creating new things:

The Argonnes Lab automated problem solver that solved the Robbins problem.
(Mathematical creativity.)
Drexler’s suggestion of automated engineering.
Dawkin’s Biomorph Land program and artificial life such as Tom Ray’s
Tierra. (Anyone have a URL for info on Tierra?)
Genetic algorithms.
Economic models using bottom-up analysis (letting models of individuals and
firms generate their own results).
Computer novelists. (Specific references for stories and novels written by
computers appreciated.)
Examples of learning algorithms?



Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute, Editor, Extropy,
(310) 398-0375