My probability estimates of various scenarios

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Fri Nov 22 2002 - 20:24:55 MST

My probability estimates of various scenarios

It really is a sad state of affairs that so many human
beings are so totally blind or apathetic that they're
doing nothing to help bring about the 'Singularity'.
And that the minds of so many are still gripped by
centuries old dogmas that are opposed to science,
rationality and progress (for instance fundamentalist
religion). What a terrible waste of life!

Being a visionary is both a blessing and a curse for
we understand how good the world could be, yet we are
daily confronted with 'the awful truth' which is the
present reality. The terrible frustration and
alienation that the visionary has to deal with because
he or she lives in an irrational world is enough to
drive him or her nearly insane at times :-( The
poignant Jack Vance fantasy short story 'Green Magic'
fully captures the essence of what it means to be a
visionary. It's well worth a read. The story can be
read on-line at this URL:

That humanity will reach a 'Singularity' at all, or
that the outcome will be favorable is by no means
assured. Whilst Eliezer is having difficulty getting
grants of a few grand a year, did you know that there
is an organization called 'The Turning Point Project'
which has spent millions of dollars on big
advertisements attacking nanotech, A.I and genetic
engineering? Something is wrong with the world :-(

I'm going to give you my current Bayesian estimates of
various scenarios:

Probability that a Singularity will happen: 90%

If a Singularity doesn't happen, why not?

Technologically impossible or impractical:
Humanity permanently stifled through techno-phobia
and/or local disasters: 10%
Humanity wiped out through global disaster:

Assuming that a Singularity happens:

66% confidence interval for date of Singularity:
90% confidence interval for date of Singularity:

Probability of favorable outcome: 90%

Assuming that the outcome of the Singularity is not
favorable, why?

F.A.I cannot help humanity or doesn’t want to:
Unfriendly A.I developed first or F.A.I undergoes
Failure of Friendliness: 90%

Assuming that the outcome of the Singularity is
favorable, what happens?

F.A.I implements 'Sys-Op' over all of human space and
rapidly offers uplifting to all: 30%
Multiple F.A.I's integrated with economy help develop
uplifting technologies gradually: 70%

Which person/organization will get to true A.I first?

A private person/group or a non-profit institute: 40%
A major company: 15%

A military R&D group: 10%
An academic research project: 30%

A public (open source) collaborative effort: 5%


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