By James Wells
SORRENTO, ITALY: Michio Kaku, a leading futurist has told the 2010 Narta conference that even though computers may be 1,000 times more powerful and cheaper in 2020, the fundamental physics theory – Moore’s Law – may have a finite life.
Moore’s Law was established in 1965 by Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, and states that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented.
“While chips may be 1,000 times more powerful and cheaper by 2020, nothing lasts forever, and there is a certain amount of distress that computers may not continue to become as powerful,” said Kaku, who is a professor in theoretical physics and the host of numerous television shows relating to new technology.
“What this means is that we have at least 10 to 15 good years left and I predict that a chip in 2020 will cost a penny: the price of scrap paper.”
Kaku claims that at this price, the word computer is likely to disappear from the English language as computer chips become incorporated into every day products previously not thought possible due to cost restrictions.
“There will be a continuous supply of gadgets, a cornucopia of gizmos, but the future will be more competitive. Remember, if you dare to swim with sharks, do not act like food. I am here to teach you how to not act like food.”
Kaku also predicted the proliferation of the internet to the point where it will be available in glasses and even contact lenses. Facial recognition would be simplified and enhanced with personal biographies, while communication difficulties such as language translation would be eliminated.
Kaku claimed that the world economy is changing from commodity capital to intellectual capital, and used the music industry as an example of an old fashioned approach to technology which is on the verge of bankruptcy as a result of not embracing change.
“To be a successful retailer, you have to add value to the equation: things that consumers do not understand. If you neglect technology, your competitors will not, and drive you out of business,” he said, warning that people generally fall into one of two camps: those who acknowledge that they will be left behind and those who realise that technology can allow them to become more competitive.