The Amara's Law tells us that we tend to overestimate the impact of new technology in the short term and underestimate it in the long run
Amara's Law says, "We tend to overestimate the impact of new technology in the short term and underestimate it in the long run.".
Consider the GPS:
The GPS is now in the phase that Amara would call the plateau or long-term. Technology has permeated into our daily lives nearly 40 years after its very invention. We use it to track our sporting performances, or to compute a route; governments use it to monitor parolees or to anticipate shark attacks; farmers to determine the varieties of seeds they need to user; companies to observe their fleets etc. And tomorrow, we will all be driven from point A to point B in a fully autonomous vehicle, which will follow a route calculated using GPS.
And yet, before that:
None of these uses had even been thought of. In 1978 when the first satellite was launched by the United States Department of Defense, its goal was to enable the accurate replenishment of ammunition in the theater of operations in which the army was engaged. But the project was almost abandoned several times during the 1980s, and it only became a real success during the first Gulf War in 1991. It was after several other successes that its utility was recognized by the army. In 1995, the deployment of 24 fully operational satellites (31 today) was completed.
It is during the 2000s and under the impetus of Bill Clinton that the technology will be democratized.
Amara's law is known to perfectly represent the "Cycle of the hype". It also encourages stakeholders to reflect on the long-term effects of technology, which are often difficult to understand and at first glance, very obscure.
Source and adaptation :
Rodney Brooks, The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions, MIT Technology review, ,October 6th, 2017
Cycle du hype, Wikipedia, consulted on 12.03.2018
Across the 14 innovations considered in this review a review conducted in 2015, the average time from invention to widespread commercialisation was 39 years.
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