General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Will humans reach another toolmaking plateau anytime soon?

Asked by Ltryptophan (12015points) December 7th, 2021
10 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

The Stone Age was this era where most humans seemed to share a similar toolmaking status for eons. Rocks, sticks, rudimentary clothing, and shelter. If you accept this premise that for perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, humans made incremental advances at a slow pace compared to today, then when do you suppose our current streak of mind boggling advances in toolmaking and science level off for a while?

If you can guess it, then bonus if you describe what you think that plateau will be like.

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SQUEEKY2's avatar

When we choke off sustainable life on earth?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Sub-atomic transistors.

gorillapaws's avatar

Additive manufacturing is the next big horizon. Desktop Metal is a company that’s on the very tip of what I expect to be a large percent of how things are produced with their mass manufacturing of 3d printed metal parts.

JLoon's avatar

Good question! You could argue that all our previous tool-making advances involved a feedback loop, where technology stimulated mental and intellectual development.

I think the next plateau may be closer than we think, as we perfect AI and robotics. BUT – the question is whether this time we’ll experience the same mental evolution as a species. By turning the process over to artificial systems that can learn, teach, and improve themselves without human intervention we may be rushing ourselves to obsolescence.

kritiper's avatar

Not before the sun goes down. (Relatively speaking.)

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Once the A.I. we build takes over. Technology is exponential, once it’s out of our hands it’ll be like magic. It’s coming so fast that it’ll take almost everyone by surprise. In most of our lifetimes we will see this.

filmfann's avatar

We just reached it.
We have computers in our pockets that are able to collect information from many sources, as well as from other users.

flutherother's avatar

There is not the slightest sign of advances in technology levelling off and in fact they are increasing exponentially with the development of the Internet and artificial intelligence.

The pace of development in the stone age may have been slow but it was seldom completely static. Prehistoric man invented fire, boats, rope, fishing, music, art, language, animal domestication, agriculture and was no less human and no less inventive than we are today.

The curve of human progress follows a single exponential curve that has gone from almost horizontal tens of thousands of years ago to nearly vertical today. There has never really been a plateau, nor will there be, barring some catastrophe.

gondwanalon's avatar

We have never reached a toolmaking plateau and never will.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We’ve never reached one. Progress may have been slower in the past, but that didn’t make it a plateau.

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