31 Jul '12, 1pm

Wright's Law Edges Out Moore's Law in Predicting Technology Development

The next time you’re at cocktail party and someone says “Computing power doubles every 18 months,” jump in with this before they can qualify the statement: “Actually, the 1965 Moore’s Law seems to be a special case of Wright’s Law, spelled out by Theodore P. Wright in a 1936 paper, ‘Factors affecting the costs of airplanes.’ In fact, Wright’s Law seems to describe technological evolution a bit better than Moore’s—not just in electronics, but in dozens of industries.” Your interlocutors will gaze at you with admiration and wonder. Or, more probably, edge away and leave you in peace. A new Santa Fe Institute (SFI) working paper (Statistical Basis for Predicting Technological Progress , by Bela Nagy, J. Doyne Farmer, Quan M. Bui, and Jessika E. Trancik) compares the performance of six technology-forecasting models with constant-dollar historical cost data for 62 different tec...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/at-work/test-and-measu...

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