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Exponential growth never lasts

AI and computer technology is just like all other growth - it has an end-point

technology growth development


While automation technology is currently growing faster than any previous technology, exponential growth never lasts forever and automation is no different. The sharp growth of it is a sign of the success of our system, not its failings.

The Argument

In technology, business, and society, growth has a tendency to end. While technology could theoretically continue to grow and develop at an exponential rate, it will ultimately be cut short by what are known as 'limiting factors'. Limiting factors are the variables within any field which prohibit growth. While technology can continue to develop exponentially, it will likely find itself affected by a limiting factor: resource shortages, energy shortages, or in the case of automation it could be something systemic such as climate change.

Counter arguments

The creation of an artificial intelligence unit that has 'general intelligence' (or about the equivalent of human intelligence) would quite likely overcome this simply due to its ability to harness more energy at a much quicker rate than we can. Our energy is limited, but in a crisis situation we could give an AI with general intelligence a million times human brain power and allow it to develop its own solutions to our resource limits.


P1 - Growth periods always end. P2 - Limiting factors will prevent artificial intelligence ever becoming powerful enough to reshape our workforce.

Rejecting the premises

P1 - This growth period will not end soon because it is a unique technological field deeply entwined with the success of our society P2 - AI itself will help us to overcome limiting factors through exponentially self-developing


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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 6 Mar 2019 at 19:39 UTC