Screw Moore's Law: Wright's Law Is The Key

in LeoFinance2 months ago

One of the reason for my optimism regarding the future is understanding a little known "law" called Wright's Law. This is something that is not discussed with the frequency of Moore's Law yet tends to be more accurate and telling of the future.

So what is Wright's Law?

Basically it is the idea that, as more manufacturing takes place, the price will drop at a consistent pace associated with the learning curve.

Originally this was proposed in looking at airplane manufacturing. Wright discovered that for every doubling in production, the cost dropped by 15%.

What Theodore Wright uncovered was found to apply other industries also.

Wright’s Law extends to other industries. In recent years researchers at the Santa Fe Risk Institute concluded that it can forecast the cost decline associated with any technology. In 2012 the researchers compared the forecast error rates between Moore’s Law and Wright’s Law across 62 technologies ranging from black and white TVs to photovoltaic cells, and from electric ovens to nuclear power. They concluded that Wright’s Law outperformed Moore’s Law consistently. Even in his research on transistors, Gordon Moore would have been served better by applying Wright’s Law than creating Moore’s Law as a forecasting tool, as shown below. Measured over the decade to 2015 (the latest data point available), a price forecast based on Wright’s Law was 40% more accurate than one based on Moore’s Law. Measured across the entire data series Wright’s Law reduced the forecast error by 15% on average.

Source

Much of our innovation over the last 100 years can be attributed to our ability to produce things. Our level of production has increased exponentially, resulting in more detailed products. Electronics and finally computerization all resulted, which further helped to push things forward.

Here we see something that is vital to our manufacturing and production going forward: industrial robots. Notice the expected cost declines when applying Wright's Law.

What gets really interesting is robotics coupled with AI accelerates the entire process. We see this moving forward to the point where much of what we deal with will be near zero marginal cost. This was something many predicted more than a decade ago.

Our physical world is being digitized. This is another vital factor. When the physical converts to bits, it is much easier to manipulate. In other words, everything along the china is accelerated, streamlined, and made more efficient.

Customization, localization and personalization are all suddenly the norm instead of distant mass manufacturing. Supply chains are radically altered as well as transportation networks. Instead of manufacture and distribute it is distribute then manufacture.

This is the epitome of 3D printing and, eventually, other technologies that will come about. It is far easier to transfer a digital scan as compared to a physical product.

It gets really exciting when we consider this law applies to solar cells, lithium ion batteries, robots, rockets, and anything else that we are developing which will reach mass production. In a few years, VR headsets will be much less simply because of the number of units which will be produced. The same is going to be true for electric vehicles.

As our physical products are tied to the digital world, mostly through applications of some type, we will see radical advancement. EVs are going to eventually change transportation by shifting from cars to rides. The same holds true with food production when we consider the construction of vertical, climate controlled farms. This will localize the growing of food, removing the transportation costs from the equation. It also allows for greater yields using less resources.

Think of everything in our world that is made. Then ponder the fact that with each iteration of production, the costs will decrease by an associate amount. While this will vary across industries, the trend is clear. Thus, all we are developing will be less expensive in the future.

Couple this with the fact that information technology advances at a rapid rate, enabling for more diverse networks handling more data, we can see how quickly the world can change. AI is going to completely alter software design, something that is already in place.

Ultimately, much of our manufacturing will be done without the use of humans. Of late, we are seeing a lot discussed about how technology is going to wipe out many jobs. This is a prime example of how it all ties in. Production costs drop as humans are replaced with automation. Obviously, we have decades of evidence as we saw this happen across the world.

Wright's Law is showing us that we are going to increasingly uncover less expensive ways to live. As production mounts, we will find that the unit costs drops, further helping demand. Those industries that are mature will find this ends up putting them out of business as the demand will not be there. However, for products that are tied to other industries, like lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles as opposed to just smartphones.

With quantum computers, VR headsets, and advanced communication systems all on tap, Wright's Law is going to take on added importance going forward. It helps to explain how things will keep accelerating in spite of us embarking upon more difficult systems.


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I didn't know either of the laws you mentioned and I like to think a day you learned nothing new is a day gone to waste so thanks for helping me not to waste my day hehehe

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Moore's Law is well known within the IT community and to anyone who watches tech.

Wright's Law not so much since it is tied more to manufacturing.

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Sometimes I wish I was born 20 years later. Seriously though It feels like we are just on the cusp of some amazing things but I'll be an old fart by then! Unless we can reverse engineer our bodies.

It also feels like ages ago when we all talked about quantum computers and they being a possible attack vector to bitcoin and other POW systems. Everyone figured we where a long way away. But it's seriously here and once that happens imagine when the initial tech world did for us from 1990 - 2000 and 100x that. It's going to be freakin wild.

Sometimes I wish I was born 20 years later.

No kidding. That is the ultimate inequality. Those who are in their 20s are going to see some amazing things. They will also live a lifespan that is vastly longer (and healthier) than those of us who are older. I just hope I am young enough to get the benefits of some of what is coming out. I need things to really move in the next 20 years, especially in the field of longevity to ride the next wave.

It also feels like ages ago when we all talked about quantum computers and they being a possible attack vector to bitcoin and other POW systems.

True although the quantum internet will solve that problem along with all other cybersecurity problems. Quantum entanglement is impossible to hack since there is no transmission.

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Adjustments are needed now
in order to adapt.
I was thinking the other day
my next care will be EV. With super chargers
all over the roads, you can reach your destination
in a similar time frame.
Things will get cheaper for those who understand
the incoming changes.

!BEER

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My next car might not be owned by me. It might be a robotaxi that I call up on an app and take to my destination.

That is going to be our reality at some point.

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This could be really something
I look forward to.
Definitely 2035 stuff.

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It will be very interesting how things unfold in the 14 years. That is a long time in the technology world. We could see a lot of what we now perceive as radical over the next decade.

Those who make it to 2035 will see things being a lot different.

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The fly in the ointment of all this development is government. Technology is already outpacing them and while they're all concerned about keeping and consolidating power, the world is leaping forward blindly with innovation. I'm having trouble envisioning how these elements are going to co-exist in the future. Are the governments going to become so paranoid that we basically enter a "communist" state with government regulating everything? Or is the technology going to be so advanced that "freedom" is going to break out around the world with the government being able to do little to stop it? Not that those are the only two options but....it really is hard to picture how our current economical and political situation can "peacefully" be steered into embracing the technology that would benefit all humankind.

Once again, your post leads me down another rabbithole.... :-)

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Are the governments going to become so paranoid that we basically enter a "communist" state with government regulating everything?

This has been happening for 30 years with the scientism and other bullshit things the mainstream promotes that are easily negated. Of course, that doesnt stop them from pushing the one world government since, after all, this problem (climate change, COVID, whatever) is bigger than any one government.

So that path is already being set.

Or is the technology going to be so advanced that "freedom" is going to break out around the world with the government being able to do little to stop it?

This is going to happen but I dont think government will be the ones to worry about. The nation-state will be gone in 50 years. What is of concern, in my view, is Big Tech. As technology becomes more advanced, who is in control of it. Right now, a case could be made that Zuckerberg is more powerful than any government. Yes the later has their guns and jails but he has the eyeballs and controls the network.

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Cyberpunk, here we come!! :-) Corporations controlling the world. There's a reason an entire genre of science fiction is dedicated to this future reality. Authors have been envisioning this future for the last 30 years and we're seeing it begin to play out. What's really amazing to me is how FAST the world is changing once you actually start looking at what's going on. 95% of the population (or more) still don't have a clue what the creation of bitcoin has done to the world. The tiny snowball that started the avalanche....

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That is true yet it is also important to remember that decentralization is taking place on many levels. For example, telecom use to control all of communications. We are now seeing different systems erected with different players involved. When we thinks about the capabilities of edge computing and decentralized cloud solutions, we can see how things will be spread out.

I agree that most of humanity is completely clueless as to what is taking place. Few are aware of what is taking place and how quickly things are moving. The trends going forward are in place, although not specific. From this, we can estimate how things will unfold, within a certain range.

Robotics, AI, 3D printing, XR, and a host of other things are going to change what people do on a daily basis.

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Robotics, AI, 3D printing, XR, and a host of other things are going to change what people do on a daily basis.

I know. That's one of the great things about this place. I've been digging around in different communities and you can basically find articles and commentary on all of these topics, and then some. Hive really is a great melting pot for learning about what's actually happening in the world. I've learned more here in the last two weeks than I learned in the last two years watching mainstream "news".

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Ignoring laws? I mean that's what they are made for :P

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Well it seems they are more to make everyone a criminal, thus giving more power to the state.

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Interesting topic. I doubt I'll see it come together in my lifespan, but then again, sometimes things change so quickly that they are settled before you even realise it.

Depends upon what your lifespan is. If you can hang around another 15 years, there is a good chance of your lifespan being extended.

There is truly a lot taking place, especially within the next 15 years.

We see some amazing things in the very early stages.

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I sure hope to have 15 years left still! :)))

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Who knows,with the way technology is developing,there might soon be a tech that can help humans to increase their lifespan for more years....anything is possible...

It is predicted that Longevity Escape Velocity will be achieved in the early 2030s. This means that for each year that passes we add more than 12 months to the average lifespan.

We will see if it comes to pass but that is what some are theorizing.

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It will be really be a very happy experience if that truly happens because sometimes life can be so very sweet and you would really wish to have a longer lifespan or even live forever....@taskmaster4450le

That is true although many people are miserable (usually the ones watching the news).

Life is getting better and humanity is evolving. We are seeing things moving forward and technology is a big reason for this.

It will be great for those who are around in 2050.

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By then I would be more than fifty years old,..lol....the good thing is that I would be able to tell my kids how technology have evolved for years and how it changed the world and still going to continue to change the world...

Weird I don't think I have heard of wright's law. When I told classes in college, it was all about Moore's Law and how things double every two years. It sure is interesting when you have data to compare the two different laws.

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Yeah and the fact that Wright's Law predates Moore by so many decades. There is ample evidence that it held true for close to 100 years.

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@taskmaster4450le I believe more industrial robots would help make the manufacturing sector to become more effective though.....technology have really helped so many sectors of our economy most especially the manufacturing sector and I believe that with more technological innovations the sector will keep developing too....

It will. Little doubt about that.

We already saw the impact of robots on production, something that will only continue.

It is going to be an interesting decade.

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@taskmaster4450le and I am glad we are going to be able to experience that interesting decade...winks....

That is true if we are fortunate enough to live. The next few decades will see a ton of advancement, mote than humanity ever saw before in any short period of time.

We just need to get to the point where we hit the bend on the exponential curve.

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@taskmaster4450le the 3D printing technology is an amazing kind of technology that I would want to see more of it because I believe it is going to be useful for so many economic sectors and life as a whole...thanks for this wonderful post sir...

More is rolling out each day.

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@taskmaster4450le this is the reason why I love reading your posts,there are always new things to learn....this is the first time I am hearing about the Wright's law.....and I have really learnt something new today...thanks for sharing...

You are welcome.

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I heard Wright's law before, but I am not quite familiar. Most of semiconductor R&D refers progression based on Moore's Law. Wright's Law is interesting, and if it 40% accurate than Moore's Law. Then, it is a good predictor for progress. As we know, Moore's Law is almost at its end, and the chip development slow down and did not leave up to Moore's prediction.

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With quantum computers, VR headsets, and advanced communication systems all on tap, Wright's Law is going to take on added importance going forward. It helps to explain how things will keep accelerating in spite of us embarking upon more difficult systems.

What an interesting opinion from you...@taskmaster4450le