Will human knowledge soon have the power to double every 12 hours?

Glenn has been talking about the theory behind Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology for many years. As technology becomes more and more advanced, the distinction between human and machine will blur even further. On radio this morning, Glenn discussed a similar theme. Citing a report that shows human knowledge could soon double every 12 hours, Glenn wondered what that future would look like.

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“Here’s something I find stunning. It is both thrilling, exhilarating, and exciting,” Glenn said. “Never before has anything like this ever happened. But also, at the same time, it is really truly frightening.”

Last April, David Russell Schilling explained the theory behind architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller’s “Knowledge Doubling Curve” in an article for Industry Tap:

Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”; he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.

In turn, this exponential growth of knowledge will require massive technological advances. As Schilling explains, “dealing with this information will necessitate the development of vastly more complex software, shareability, and artificial intelligence.”

It is at this point, Glenn believes, the argument for the merging of machinery, computers, and humans will be best made. In order to survive such an onslaught, you must hold fast to your convictions and truly understand what you believe.

“That’s where we’re headed. We have been saying: Simplify your life and know what is true, know what you believe because these guys are going to be able to overwhelm the system with information,” Glenn said. “You won’t be able to navigate that much information. No one can navigate that much information. You will have to have supercomputers to be able to navigate, and that’s where they will get you.”

“You have things built inside of you that no computer has. Computers can give you all kinds of information. They can try to give computers artificial intelligence, and they will, in our lifetime, create computers that you will not be able to tell the difference between human interaction and computer interaction,” he continued. “It will happen sooner than you think. But no computer can have that human sense. No computer can have that gut check of, ‘I don’t care what everybody says. I’m going a different direction.’ That’s what makes us truly unique. That is the strongest arrow in our quiver.”

Read the entire Industry Tap article HERE.

  • landofaahs

    Not a chance Glenn; We have too many democrats in this country.

  • Anonymous

    Scientists and engineers are the worlds rock stars, but unfortunately, the far right doesn’t trust academia or science. What Carl Sagan said about public understanding of science is as true as ever. http://youtu.be/_iyFw8UF85A

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72EnfFysPFE Connor

    With people like you running the country I doubt everything Glenn says in this video about human knowledge expanding at all.

  • Bryce

    I doubt it….our public education system blows that theory out of the water.

  • Bryce

    You’re such a Lemming. Are you capable of an original thought or do you just regurgitate the same old pablum over and over again without any rational thought?

  • landofaahs

    We trust true science not the crony type of science and those with an agenda based on their religion of earth worship environmentalist extremism.

  • Anonymous

    I formed my opinion about the right from hearing many ridiculously ignorant statements from Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and FOX.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I’m sure all of our country’s scientists publishing findings that don’t suit your political predisposition are earth-worshiping extremists. Fortunately, science will move on without your consent.

  • Anonymous

    Aren’t you clever with your sarcasm.

  • Deckard426

    So if UNIVAC is so smart, why can’t it find the missing, Rose Law Firm billing records of Hillary Clinton?

  • Anonymous

    but that is just the demonrat point, to replace humans with computers.like Divergent. We will be Barbie and Ken with robotic minds. oh, hey, they did that movie in the seventies with ‘The Stepford WIves.’

  • Anonymous

    or husseinObamas records?!

  • Anonymous

    science can be good if used for good..with God

  • Anonymous

    i’d rather be a Foxinfotainer than what you are an Demonrat lowinvoter. Liberals are so blinded by the Truth! they only see what they want to see not facts!

  • Anonymous

    hey Glenn not only are you saying as i see the movie transendence is happening you also mention of that human quality of conscience reminds me of the movie, ‘Divergent.’ Glenn you describe our future as-Trancendence meets the The Stepford WivesI I always say the Right uses their Conscience and The Left uses
    the Con of Science!

  • Anonymous

    thats the class war fare separating people into class. The Left want control so they want the lower classes to be UNinformed for their intelligence control

  • Anonymous

    I’m an Independent, always have been.

  • Anonymous

    science is a way of thinking but thinking thinking of science should go inside with Gods-thinking of creation. well that end was true we have to think right or the government will control us.
    Right has a conscience, Left has con-of-science

  • Anonymous

    Truths discovered through the scientific process are neither good or bad, they just are. There is no good or evil if not for how it effects thinking feeling creatures. People choose to harm themselves or others.

  • Anonymous

    There’s at least three things to consider.
    1. any positive number times a negative number is a negative number.
    2. the law of diminishing returns probably applies to this as well.
    3. If we keep working at stupid we will eventually perfect it!

  • Anonymous

    ???

  • Anonymous

    Do not be fooled. Acquiring knowledge does not mean obtaining wisdom.

  • Anonymous

    I hate to break it to you all… but being a computer engineer it is well known that Moore’s Law (which says the number of transistors on a chip will double every 2 years) is on its last legs. This means that the doubling of computer computation power will come to an abrupt end.

    A mistake we often make is that we look at trends and extrapolate those trends into the future. This is not true. I have seen 12 generations of Moore’s Law. When I first started transistors were at 80 micrometers (millionths of a meter) and are now at 14 nanometer (billionths) but the likelihood that they get down to 14 picometer is 0% (a single helium atom is 140 picometers).

    Most say the industry will not get past 8 nm (transistors become too fragile) and so in about 4 years the end of an ever expanding computer industry will slow down.

  • Chuck T

    I think once we actually achieve ‘the Singularity’ we will have destroyed ourselves.

    Consider that so much of all the information we are supposedly learning turns out to be bogus or incomplete. Being overwhelmed with information isn’t necessarily gaining ‘wisdom’. As great as the human brain’s potential is, cramming it full of mistaken, faulty information will only drive us insane.

  • Al Haus

    Landree, explain this to me…

    “Yes, I’m sure all of our country’s scientists publishing findings that
    don’t suit your political predisposition are earth-worshiping
    extremists. Fortunately, science will move on without your consent.”

    Al Gore and a bunch of government paid scientists come along and tell us that MMGW/CC is destroying the earth. Al Gore makes a movie with a pledge to save mother earth that we are all supposed to take.

    Only he doesn’t.

    He tells us that seas are going to rise, and then buys a beachfront mansion.

    He tells us to use less gas and electricity while driving around in a caravan of SUV’s…

    …and his mansions electric bill is $6k a month.

    If that isnt enough, how about the IPCC MAKING up so called DATA to support MMGW/CC and actually telling each other HOW TO LIE TO THE PUBLIC about it…

    …and then they were CAUGHT RED HANDED, in their emails doing these things.

    So can you explain to me why i am supposed to ignore these FACTS and believe the lie THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN EXPOSED?

    And this comment…”Scientists and engineers are the worlds rock stars, but unfortunately, the far right doesn’t trust academia or science.”

    Why should we? Academia that teaches gay and lesbian studies? As if that has anything to do with education. It’s purely political.

    Academia that has pro-communist newspapers on campus, and shuns the ROTC?

    And scientists that make up data and tell each other how to lie about it?

    That’s just a “far right” hatred of science and academia?

    To you anyone on the right is automatically wrong and you are right about everything because academia told you so?

    Are you a college student…or a government scientist?

  • Al Haus

    Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and FOX, have a lot of followers. More and more everyday.

    While ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC lose followers everyday.

    Did you hear about CBS recently making up problems with Tesla electric vehicles?

    I wonder where they learned that?

    Remember Dan Rather MAKING UP false AWOL documents on GWB?

    He only got fired for it!

    CBS learned form ABC’s Peter Arnett, who made up false Vietnam war stories…

    ABC blowing up Ford Pintos, because they wouldn’t on their own.

    Oh yeah, and CBS, editing 911 tapes in the Trayvon Martin false race hysteria, trying to make it look like it was racism.

    BUSTED! CBS edited and fixed the tapes!

    You should try FOX. You wont get straight left wing propaganda like you do at universities and ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC.

    And you can dismiss those info-tainers. I wonder why left-wing “info-tainers” always fail.

    Air America anyone?

    Guess most people can see through left wing bullshit!

  • Al Haus

    Apparently more clever that your ability to not be brainwashed by left wing propaganda.

    Oh look, a squirrel!

  • Al Haus

    In other words…..lefties lie.

    Yeah your an independent….chuckle, chuckle, snort, snort!

  • Al Haus

    Pete and rePeat were sitting on a fence, Landree says what?

  • Al Haus

    an independent leftist!

  • Anonymous

    Probably because everyone that’s in charge of those details are preoccupied with their Pos-T-Vacs.

  • Anonymous

    If it’s what the liberals call knowledge it won’t matter how often it doubles, it will still be zero!

  • Mike Nelson

    But they know it so hard and confidently…

  • Mike Nelson

    I give you an up for right thinking and humor… but your point #1 should be “add” not multiply.

    Ex: 2 x 5 = 10 while 2 + 5 = 7

    The only way to get a negative number in multiplication is negative x negative.

  • Anonymous

    Any two like sign multipliers equals a positive result. Any two unlike creates a negative.

    http://www.khanacademy.org/math/arithmetic/absolute-value/mult_div_negatives/v/multiplying-positive-and-negative-numbers

  • Anonymous

    Ha ha. No matter how often they fail, in their warped minds it will always be because the rest of us just aren’t liberal enough.
    What was that statement some sage said was the “definition of insanity”?

  • landofaahs

    Many scientists do not agree, so what makes you sure yours are correct? But you just know it’s true because you are a libturd.. You’d like the Kyoto agreement that would tax every stage of production and make products sky high. But then you’d blame the price increases on those greedy corporations. Lying democrats all.

  • Mike Nelson

    Whoops, for some reason I read even/odd… not pos/neg. How embarrassing… :/

    Sorry!

  • Mike Nelson

    I think it was along the lines of, “Just try it AGAIN!” ;)

  • Anonymous

    Quite all right.

  • Anonymous

    Scientists that disagree do so with evidence, reason and peer review. My problem is with ignorant people that form opinions on things they don’t understand. I suspect you may fall into that category.

  • Anonymous

    Al. I like your Avatar.

    Al Gore publicized scientific information. He is not a scientist. What he does with his money or how he handles his personal affairs is irrelevant to scientific consensus.

    Academia is responsible for the most important driver of our economy, i.e. providing the tools for creative people to discover and invent. America wouldn’t exist without government-academia-industry, which is why the world emulates us.

    I don’t think everyone on the right is wrong. Unfortunately, right-wing pendants tell half the story or make things up.

    I got advanced degrees in engineering and business. I’m an entrepreneur. I have a software company and an electronics company.

  • Anonymous

    I watch CSPAN because you can hear the experts directly. I read several news papers including international ones. I read scientific journals and books. That is why I know right-wing pundits have a specific agenda including making a lot of money.

  • Anonymous

    What left-wing propaganda do you assume I’m subject to?

  • Anonymous

    True, the far left and right sometimes lie or are not objective, which is why I’m independent.

  • AutumnGrey

    To answer the question posed in the article’s title in one word: No.
    The more that humans rely on computers, the more stupid we become.

  • AutumnGrey

    Glenn’s point about knowledge versus wisdom is incorrect. Knowledge is the familiarity and awareness of something, but it is also an understanding of something. Having a computer provide answers for us does not necessarily give us an understanding of it.

  • landofaahs

    I have evidence that in the 60′s the scientific community was worrying about the next ice age and suggested dumping carbon black on the north pole to warm things up to counter the cooling effect. The weather like many things goes in cycles which may come as a surprise to a scientist like you. But I can generally prove that the whole “MAN MADE” climate change is not natural science but social science. How do you ask. Well if the planet is going to be destroyed by carbon like you pseudo scientists claim, then let us not tax anything but rather we should be fair and compel everyone to be limited in their carbon usage. These carbon credits cannot be bought traded or sold and would encompass even the affluent folks like Al Gore. We would get rid of Al’s mansions and stop all jet flights as a way to make sure that the rich may not be able to pollute just because they have money. That would never fly. In fact the whole carbon tax thing would only be another large pool of funds that politicians and scientists could steal from. I think every scientist should be forced to divulge where all their funding comes from and a mechanism needs to be made that would prevent scientists from profiting from the studies they come up with because we know that scientists can be just as corrupt when it comes to money as any politician. Would you be willing to live in a small living space with little heat in the winter and cooling in the summer? Since you believe this poppycock, you should step up to the plate and lead by example.

  • Anonymous

    Historical hypotheses, whether incorrect or not, does not disprove what’s currently understood. Being distracted by uneducated politicians, special interests and pundits does not interest me. Science will progress without people like you. Every month we hear about a new discovery in physics, biology, technology, ecology, etc. Understanding of our world and universe is happening at an every increasing rate without your or my or Al Gore’s endorsement. Our opinion on the politics of science is as irrelevant as it has been since Galileo. Pure scientists have no interest in the opinions of people ignorant of the science. As Carl Sagan said, the combination of power and ignorance will hurt our society, but that doesn’t change the reality of scientific understanding.

  • landofaahs

    You are a joke. “What is currently understood?” You say. Why is it we always hear reports that scientist’s are surprised that such and such happens under such and such circumstances when scientists previously thought that these things were not the case? What did Carl Sagan know about the weather? He was in the field of astronomy was he not? But I guess any scientific discipline qualifies you to cross over and make opinions of any of the sciences. I suppose Carl could have just jumped into any operating room and perform any medical procedures. I hope you realize that scientists have different fields of study that they may have knowledge of but not necessarily are experts at. But you did not answer my question in your avoidance. ARE YOU WILLING TO LIVE THE LIFE REQUIRED THAT WOULD LIMIT YOUR ACTIVITY FOR THE SAKE OF THE PLANET? It’s a simple question. I would think especially from a know it all scientist.

  • Anonymous

    You hear scientific theories being disproved because research is ongoing and new discoveries add to the collection of knowledge. For example, all of classical and Newtonian physics has been superseded by Einsteins special relativity and quantum physics. Like I said, science and technology progress at an accelerated pace. Carl Sagan’s comment was generally about science and the dangers of public and political ignorance of it. Would I limit my behavior for an environmental problem? Of course, if the problem threatened my well-being. Isn’t it logical to stop doing something that will harm you? But the ignorant public generally won’t accept scientific global warming evidence until it’s obvious to them and costs them money as people are displaced and food and energy costs rise. When this country confronted a smog problem, the public paid to fix it through increased costs for catalytic converters plus a host of environmental systems and yearly emissions tests on cars. That’s how it will happen.

  • landofaahs

    Even if you have facts of global warming how could you extrapolate that it would be a bad thing? rising temperatures would thaw previously frozen tundra making it fertile land to grow more food perhaps. There are too many variables for you or anyone else to say with surety that the results would be threatening. How do you know that solar activity is not the major driver of weather on the planet? Radiation could well be heating the magma under the Earth’s surface and driving the oceanic belts through underwater volcanic activity. Study your science but don’t throw away civilization just because you are a chicken little believing the sky is falling down.

  • Anonymous

    You’re asking very good questions. So have the scientists. Scientists use massive amounts of data and computer models to help predict outcomes. True some areas may benefit from increased rain, but the overall outlook from increased global temperatures doesn’t comfort me. Published effects vary regionally from droughts, excess rain in some areas, lack of fresh water, severe heatwaves and related health effects, high frequency of violent storms and floods and billions of dollars in agriculture loss, disease, global conflicts over strained food and water supplies, destruction of eco-systems, etc.

  • landofaahs

    You are not giving good answers to those good questions. You do not answer what you occupation is and who funds it.

  • Anonymous

    If you want more detailed effects of climate change, I’m sure you can find some like these:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378003000827
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1161030100000733
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v421/n6918/abs/nature01286.html
    http://www.as.wvu.edu/biology/bio463/Melillo%20et%20al%201993TEM%20NPP%20Estimations.pdf

    I wrote before that I’m an entrepreneur. My companies invent, make and sell products in software and electronics. Our customers fund the companies through product purchases.