The Gordon Moore’s idea was to give people a sense of what was possible. His idea was to make electronics so cheap that we could put them into tiny computers that everybody could use. He wanted to show people that very, very rapidly this technology would get very, very cheap.
But then in 1970, a man named Carver Mead took a deeper dive into the actual physics of transistors. He named them Moore’s Law in around 1970 and showed that this trend could continue for probably another 20, 30, 40, 50 years now. Over the last several decades as Moore’s Law has been advancing, we have seen that nearly all the productivity advances in the U.S economy have come from information technology.
How can this be? Well, other sectors like healthcare and education have been stagnant. If we can use information technology, if we can liberate these sectors to actually become more productive, they can actually become contributors to the economy in the decades ahead. They can actually fuel a new era of growth.
Even if Moore’s Law proper is slowing down, think about the ways that we are going to apply computer technology into the future, so, until today, medicine has been mostly a biological phenomenon, an arena of trial and error by doctors and researchers.
But if you think about making medicine an information technology where we are looking into people’s DNA and their proteins and actually finding how people’s cells work, how diseases actually work and targeting each person individually with customized information technology medicine.
There is also a question of whether the digital revolution has benefited just a few Silicon Valley entrepreneurs or whether it’s benefited people across the middle class. My view is that the digital revolution has dramatically improved the lives of people from top to bottom. Even with the same income or even a lower income today.
There are people in the lower middle class that have mobile phones and the internet that are able to access so much more information. Access so many more services. Talk to people across the world, to educate themselves, to engage in entrepreneurship.
Information technology has had so much innovation in large part because it’s been so free. There is a real worry today that with more regulation on the internet coming out of Washington D.C. That we may slow down the rate of innovation on the internet and in the digital world.
I can’t think of anything worse for the U.S economy, for innovation, and for living standards going into the next decades than to strangle the internet with these old school regulations. So the last 50 years have been all about information technology.
Now we are going to see how information technology changes virtually every industry that we know. It’s really perhaps going to impact our lives greater in the next 50 years than it has in the past 50.