Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Up there with Gordon Moore!

Well, that's a very optimistic title: I never expected to be up there with Gordon Moore. But, I was totally amazed to have my comments on the future of technology in the latest issue of IEEE Spectrum right next to Gordon's comments! Tech Luminaries Address Singularity

Gordon Moore is one of the fathers of Silicon Valley, and has had wide-reaching impacts. He's from my alma mater, Caltech, where he has been chair of the board and the biggest or one of the biggest donors. He was a co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor as well as Intel, two of the Valley's most seminal companies. And my personal favorite is that his foundation gave the initial funding that led to our extremely cool Miradi software for environmental project management.

He's best known with Moore's Law, the exponential growth projection that implies that computers get faster and cheaper at ever-amazing rates. I know he's tired of all of the Moore's law hoopla, though.

The IEEE special issue on the Singularity is well worth reading: these are fundamental debates over the course of the future, with technology being the primary driver. Ray Kurzweil is famous for having a relatively extreme view of what this will mean to humanity: humans downloading their consciousnesses into machines and machine-based intelligence becoming transcendently powerful in the relatively near future (our lifetimes). Although most of the luminaries aren't as optimistic or extreme, it's clear that he has powerful arguments for his vision of the future.

Bottom line is that I'm incredibly honored to be next to Gordon Moore in any context!

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