Saturday, December 11, 2004

Driving Miss Daisy

A cute little graph in the January Scientific American show the exponential increase in computing power since the first digital machines of the 1940s.

The Mac G5/Dual 2.0 GHz computer is now at the top of the desktop line, executing 10 billion instruction per second. This is about the brain power of a guppy, says roboticist Hans Moravec. Extend the graph and you reach the processing equivalent of the human brain in about 2040.

I figure my kids will take the car keys away from me in about 5 years. By 2040 we will have cars that drive themselves, more reliably than you or me, to wherever we want to go, unassisted, through heavy traffic. I was born about 30 years too soon.