Re: Date of Singularity

From: Dan Clemmensen (
Date: Thu Feb 28 2002 - 19:46:00 MST

Josh Yotty wrote:

> From: "Max" <>
>> When do you think the singularity will occur.
> Don't you end interrogative sentences with a question mark. ;)
> Well, the time period you get back depends on the person you ask, their
> knowledge of the various factors, current technology, the rate of
> acceleration of tecnology, what they think will lead to the singularity,
> whether the person is being chased by can't get a
> *correct* answer.
> The *best* answer is, "I can't know; too many random factors."

Another "best" answer: There are two basic qualitative models for the
singularity: "exponential growth" and "phase change." One justifiable
assumption for the exponent in the exponential growth model is based
on Moore's "law": the observed doubling time for many metrics of
computational power is roughly 18 months and has been for at least
50 years. If you believe this is relevant to the singularity, then
a 18 months before the singularity, we will still only have half the
"horsepower" we need for the singularity, and even within a year prior
to the singularity, it still won't be obvious to most people that it
is imminent.

The "phase change" model is even worse: no obvious precursor until
a sudden breakthrough precipitates the singularity.

So, anyone who attempts to predict the singularity ten years in advance
is simply guessing.

The above is the gist of an argument I made and that was quoted in
"the Spike", by Damien Broderick, in 1996.

That's the same year I predicted that the singularity would occur
within ten years: i.e., before 2006. I Stand by my prediction (err, guess.)

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