Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?

Source: Marginal Resolution, Dec 2016
<original source: Stanford  University, date indeterminate)

research effort has risen by a factor of 25 since 1970. This massive increase occurs while the growth rate of chip density is more or less stable: the constant exponential growth implied by Moore’s Law has been achieved only by a staggering increase in the amount of resources devoted to pushing the frontier forward.

…the economy has to double its research efforts every 13 years just to maintain the same overall rate of economic growth.

To maximize growth we need to draw on all the world’s brain power and that means we need a world of peace, trade and the free flow of ideas.

Breakthroughs in ideas for improving idea production could raise growth rates. Genetic engineering to increase IQ could radically increase growth. Artificial intelligence or brain emulations could greatly increase ideas and growth, especially as we can create AIs or EMs faster at far lower cost than we can create more natural intelligences. That sounds great but if computers and the Internet haven’t already had such an effect one wonders how long we will have to wait to break the slump.

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