Models and Theories in Human-Computer Interaction/Doubting double-exponential growth rate
In his article "The Law of Accelerating returns" Ray Kurtzweil argues that double-exponential rate of technology progress will bring into developing new methods of processing data through mechanical and organic matter, operating in the fields of AI, biotechnology and nanotechnology. This development will bring into interdependency of human and machine, resulting into post-human, a state where humans and machines will converge.
Kurtzweil’s theory relies on objective measurements and logical implications of double-exponential technology growth, he assumes endless positive feedback in the cybernetic system of technology development, which put the entire system out of control of humans. However, he ignores environmental feedback, which can change the course of technological progress or slow down the process. Technologies exist in political, cultural and social context. On the way to post-human epoch, humans will be required to address philosophical and ethical issues of what it means to be human. Fields ranging from sociology to geography will need to address implications of extending human body beyond physical limits and existence of consciousness beyond biological brain.
Political climate, ethical positions, economy needs and public interests largely affect development and adoption process of technology. There are numerous examples of such a change in course, when technology was available but has not been practiced. Various projects, such as human cloning, nuclear weapons development, sending humans to space has not made progress in recent years because ethical concerns, political agreements and lack of funding.