The Ever Expanding Domain of Computation

THE COMPUTER IS NOW the fundamental machine of our age. Continuing exponential increases in computing power both propel the potentially cascading benefits and catastrophic threats that demand better governance and create the tools for better governance. The computer is the force behind most material technological advances as more and more fields from biotechnology to energy are brought within the domain of its digital power.1 Advances in these material technologies will generate many benefits but also may create new dangers such as novel kinds of pollution and weapons.

The rapid rise of computers likely reflects technological acceleration, a process by which technological change has moved faster ...

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