Is Current Progress in Artificial Intelligence Exponential?


Many people claim current technological progress as happening at a faster and faster pace (exponential even), with no end in sight. The merits and detriments of technology can be argued ad nauseum, but I won't be getting into that in this post (I generally view technology itself as neutral -- it can be used to improve human life or terribly misused to oppress, control, and kill). What I am going to briefly explore here is the question: is current progress in AI exponential? And if so, what implications does that have for estimates on the arrival of human level or superhuman level AI? Before I dive in, it's worth asking (if you didn't study mathematics): why does it matter if something is changing exponentially? Frequently people think the word "exponential" means "really fast", which is sometimes true, but doesn't capture much of the meaning of the concept.

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