RE: REVIEW: Kurzweil talk

Billy Brown (
Mon, 25 Jan 1999 09:27:06 -0600 wrote:
> But this seems to undercut his thesis of super-exponential growth..
> We see a wide band getting pruned so that only its upper edge can
> exist due to competitive pressures. This means that there is not an
> actual speedup of growth rates, but simply a selection effect, where
> only the fastest computers of the 1990s are shown on his chart, while
> a wider range of machines was shown in earlier decades. If we imagine
> putting back in the full range of 1990s computers which would
> have been manufactured had the market been less cut-throat, as in
> previous decades, the extrapolations would be very different. The data
> be consistent with a slow growth rate up to 1940, a fast rate from
> then a slightly *slower* but constant growth rate from 1940 through
> the present..

It doesn't look like this would eliminate the effect. Even if you widen the distribution to factor out this effect, the high end of the performance curve still seems to be sloping upwards. At any rate, a few more years of data should be enough to get a definitive answer - if the growth is super-exponential, it should become unmistakable once the graph is extended to 2000 or so.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I