Exponential, book review: Technology acceleration and its impact on society


Exponential: How Accelerating Technological innovation is Leaving Us Driving and What to Do About It • By Azeem Azhar • Random Dwelling Small business • 352 web pages • ISBN 978-1-847-94290-6 • £20   

For the very last pair of a long time, coronavirus has been educating a grasp course on exponential advancement: from January 2020, when one hundred conditions in China led the WHO to phone a community health emergency, to currently, when there have been over 239 million conditions all over the world. 

In advance of that, as folks have started to forget, exponential advancement was possibly ideal recognized as the solution driving the increase of desktops. Moore’s Law — the observation built by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that the selection of transistors on an built-in chip doubles about each individual two a long time — is the cause the smartphone in your pocket is more than a thousand times more powerful than the most significant desktops 50 a long time ago, which only governments and huge organisations could manage.  

The exponential advancement of computer ability led the inventor Ray Kurzweil to suggest the Law of Accelerating Returns and forecast that by 2045 device intelligence will move that of humans — a.k.a. the Singularity. 

In Exponential: How Accelerating Technological innovation is Leaving Us Driving and What to Do About It, Azeem Azhar commences with the notion that Kurzweil’s take was much too slender and that exponential advancement is having position in no considerably less than 4 converging sectors: computing, power, biology, and producing.  

In power, the charge of renewables is plummeting. In biology, the charge of genome sequencing is carrying out the very same. The first human genome took 13 a long time and $three billion currently any person can get theirs carried out for $two hundred in a few times and quickly sequencing was section of why we got COVID vaccines so soon. In producing, 3D printing is quickly enhancing, and provides entirely new options for generating almost everything from structures to organs. 

Taken alongside one another, the environment we’re hurtling into will glance really various. Azhar credits Kurzweil for recognising that the most significant contributor to our notion that it is ‘accelerating’ is the parallel improvement and conversation of various systems. The outcome, Azhar writes, is an “exponential hole” that’s opening up concerning our knowledge of our environment, which updates bit by bit, and the arriving systems, which adjust quicker than we can cope with. 

In this e book, and in the Exponential View podcast and newsletter that preceded it, Azhar, who has been a journalist, a many enterprise founder, and a venture capitalist, claims he wants to straddle CP Snow’s Two Cultures — art and science — in get to realize the impression of all these new systems on culture.  

To fulfil this ambition, he first explores the 4 accelerating sectors, and then discusses their impact on the conversation concerning politics and the economic climate. Azhar then considers the impression on the romance concerning the citizen and culture – and concludes by producing recommendations for broad ideas that can guidebook us by way of the period changeover, and setting 4 prescriptions for the road forward: transparency, openness, interoperability, and digital rights. 

SEE: Report finds startling disinterest in ethical, dependable use of AI among company leaders

The ideas Azhar proposes are broad: we will need to make resilience and flexibility we will need to rethink our conceptions of the mother nature of monopoly, and the romance concerning staff and companies and we will need to realize the altering ability associations concerning towns, locations, and nations. Higher than all, we will need to remember that technological know-how is a force we can immediate. 

Latest AND Relevant Content

Preparing for the ‘golden age’ of synthetic intelligence and device learning

‘Are we inclined to pull the plug?’ Tech jobs are less than scrutiny as digital ethics problems raise

AI: Ban the algorithms that threaten our human rights, claims UN chief

5 unexpectedly incredibly hot industries to come across robotics careers

Quantum computing is at an early stage. But investors are now receiving fired up

Red more e book testimonials