Re: The history of Acceleration/Singularity predictions

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Mar 30 2006 - 10:10:30 MST

Joshua Fox wrote:
> Singularity work requires us to look at future trends, such as
> accelerating increase in raw computer power towards human levels. But we
> cannot judge the accuracy of our predictive techniques except by
> waiting. One approach is to look at predictions from the past and see if
> those predictive techniques were successful. Kurzweil tells us of the
> success of his predictions from 10 or 20 years ago, but I'd like to see
> more of this sort of retrospective.
> Can anyone point to me a webpage collecting predictions from decades ago
> about the general direction of technology ? I'm not interested in
> soundbite predictions, but rather in an overview of deeper long-term
> thinking of the past, like the original Moore's Law article or /The Year
> 2000/ by Kahn and Wiener. Preferably this overview would not just
> present the old predictions, but also analyze the accuracy of the
> prediction techniques used.

I'll be surprised if anything like that exists - but if it does, I would
be very interested. And I second the part about checking serious
long-term models, rather than soundbite predictions.

Does anyone know of work like this?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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