A Deepness of Thought
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Moore's Law

In 1970, when I was in third grade, I went on a field trip to a laboratory at Stanford. A scientist showed me some little gold chips and said something like "remember these, they will be important in your life". I did not understand at the time but I remembered and he was right.

In sixth grade, my teacher was giving me a hard time about my inability to spell. I remember telling her that, when I got older, machines would do my spelling.

Moore's Law states that computing power doubles roughly every two years. It is why your cell phone has more computing power than an Apollo rocket. Moore's law has held up amazingly well for the last 40 years. Many have predicted an end to it and have been proven wrong. But it is mathematically impossible for Moore's law to continue indefinitely and I think we are reaching the end, probably within the next decade. We are hitting physical limits where transistors are getting close to atomic level in size and quantum effects will prevent them from getting any smaller.

I have never been a big fan of artificial intelligence or what cyberpunk writers call "The Singularity". It might make for an interesting story but it is not real. Computers are tools with limitations.

As we hit the limits of semiconductor technology, I think we have an opportunity to discover some fundamental truths about the nature of information and about who we are and what we are not.

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