A quantitative analysis of worldwide long-term technology growth: From 40,000 BCE to the early 22nd century
The authors quantitatively analyse the long-term dynamics of technological progress from 40,000 BCE and offer projections through the 22nd century. We provide one method to measure technological progress over that time period, using a simple hyperbolic equation, yt = C/(t0 – t), as our model. We define yt as the technological growth rate, measured as number of technological phase transitions per unit of time. Our method measures the worldwide technology dynamic growth with an accuracy of R2 = 0.99. We find the singularity date occurs in the early 21st century and expect a new powerful acceleration of technological development after the 2030s followed by a slow-down in the late 21st and early 22nd centuries. The authors discuss the role of global ageing as one of the main factors in both the technological acceleration and the subsequent deceleration.