Moore’s Law is a technological phenomenon which says that technology continually changes and increases about every 18 months. Nowadays, with how technology changes, it seems like Moore’s Law may still hold true but be on steroids. The pace of changes are shockingly fast, but also wonderful, and we as citizens of this technology-based society are the lucky beneficiaries.
There is another saying out there about how science fiction becomes science fact. Pretty much it says that some awe-inspiring gizmo we see in a movie or TV show may seem like far distant future technology. However, eventually, through advances, that technology makes it into reality. Over time, you see this happen time and again. For instance, the idea someone could shop from their sofa, make the purchase on the spot, and have the product in less than three days was the stuff of fantasy 40 years ago. Nowadays, sophisticated merchant solutions for your website and drop shipping are just two parts of a vast network of technology providing the portal for someone to fulfill this one-time fantastical concept.
Back in the 1980s, there was a game console called Vectrex. It was deemed to be high technology with its vector graphics back then. It also stood out because it came with its own TV screen (i.e., all-in-one technology), so that meant you did not have to connect a bunch of cables to the TV like with your Atari console. Plus, with one or so televisions in the house, game time could be infringing upon somebody else’s shared TV time – – a definite fight with your siblings! Compare that to today. Everything that the Vectrex system offered is now available on your mobile phone and even less sophisticated devices.
Have Wifi or internet connectivity? Then everybody can watch their own show, at the same time, on different devices. Streaming Netflix or Hulu or whatever service means that everything is on demand. No more having to “share” the TV or miss your favorite shows. That same broadcast medium can be streamed to you on practically any device.
All in all, we probably do not even realize how powerful the little computers that we carry around as our phones or tablets really are. I was watching a show about the Voyager spacecraft that went and took pictures of Jupiter, Saturn and the rest of the planets. A Voyager engineer said that this interstellar spaceship’s technology was comparable to the key fob that we use to start our cars. Just think about it. If your key fob can help you explore the Milky Way, how far can you go with an iPhone or Galaxy smartphone?
Another example of how technology changes, condenses and consolidates over time is sort of a combination of everything mentioned already: artificial intelligence. Computer programming started out as just coding lines of commands. Over time, things like machine learning were introduced whereas the computer would “learn” how to do repetitive portions of the code in order to condense and consolidate the code over time. In essence, this would help cut down on the lines of code that programmers needed to create. (In reality, you needed fewer programmers too (i.e., they lose their jobs)!)
Now, artificial intelligence takes it a step further and the computer continues to learn patterns, routines and can build new code and algorithms based on these same items (i.e., “learning”). IBM has its Watson computer, but every time we set up Siri or use Amazon’s Echo, we are using this technology. I recently heard a commercial about how Amazon’s Alexa can help make your living space a ‘smart home’ and integrate itself as an all-in-one technology to do menial things around the house. Think HAL in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.”