Right on schedule?

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From: Ka-Ping Yee (ping@lfw.org)
Date: Sat Jun 24 2000 - 22:43:36 PDT

For a recent keynote talk i gave on the future of technology,
i put together a chart of computing power based on the data in
Ray Kurzweil's book, The Age of Spiritual Machines. I wasn't
too happy with the readability of the chart in the book (and
photocopying it would have been questionable) so i designed a
new and hopefully clearer layout.

Here it is:


A couple of things to note (if you have not already read
Kurzweil's book):
    - The vertical scale is a log scale, yet the best fit is
      not a straight line. It still curves upward slightly.
      (Try to fit a straight line and you'll see that it
      doesn't work.)

    - We aren't just plotting maximum available computing
      power here -- it's computing power available for a
      modest amount of money ($1000 in 1999 dollars).

    - All the data, except for the last point (the Athlon)
      is taken from Kurzweil's book.

What do you think? Are we on schedule? Any bets for when
the computational power of an affordable desktop machine will
approach the computational power of a human brain?

-- ?!ng

"This code is better than any code that doesn't work has any right to be."
    -- Roger Gregory, on Xanadu

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