The Speed of Tech

August 13, 2020 | Sam Rook


A picture worth a million words

One of the things that takes up a lot of my thoughts these days; probably too much tbh, is how fast technology is advancing. You’ve likely heard the saying “there is more computing power in your iPhone than was used to land the Apollo 11 crew on the moon” and that’s a pretty incredible thing to imagine. However it’s just some nebulous thing that we can’t actually truly grasp as a fulsome idea.


Then I came across this image shared by Matthew Ball, a partner at Makers Fund, which encapsulates the idea of the speed of technological advancement in such a simple visual.

That’s the transition in the appearance of digital humans from 1996 to 2018. Twenty-two years to go from a blocky, poorly rendered face to one that looks so life-like it would probably fool most of us into thinking it was a real person.


I could bore everyone with details about internet speed increases or microchip processing power increases over the same time period and it’s all true. But nothing I have seen or read can make you understand just how fast technology has advanced better than the above image.


Now imagine what happens in the next 22 years.


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