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Kurzweil's 2009 is our 2019

Ray Kurzweil The Age of Spiritual Machines The Singularity is Near 2009 2019 Singularity

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#21
Yuli Ban

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From "How My Predictions Are Faring" with a few years shifted. These are all of mid-90s Ray Kurzweil's predictions for 2009, AKA 2019.

  • Individuals primarily use portable computers.
  • Portable computers will have become dramatically lighter and thinner than the notebook computers of ten years earlier.
  • Personal computers are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and are commonly embedded in clothing and jewelry such as wristwatches, rings, earrings and other body ornaments.
  • Computers with a high-resolution visual interface range from rings and pins and credit cards up to the size of a thin book.
  • People typically have at least a dozen computers on and around their bodies, which are networked using “body LANs” (local area networks).
  • For the most part, these truly personal computers have no moving parts. Memory is completely electronic.
  • Most portable computers do not have keyboards.
  • Most users have servers in their homes and offices where they keep large stores of digital “objects,” including their software, databases, documents, music, and movies.
  • Digital objects such as books, music albums, movies, and software are rapidly distributed as data files through the wireless network, and typically do not have a physical object associated with them.
  • Most users have servers where they keep digital “objects” such as virtual reality environments (although these are still at an early stage).
  • There are services to keep one’s digital objects in central repositories, but most people prefer to keep their private information under their own physical control.
  • Cables are disappearing. Communication between components, such as pointing devices, microphones, displays, printers, and the occasional keyboard uses short-distance wireless technology.
  • Computers routinely include wireless technology to plug into the ever-present worldwide network, providing reliable, instantly available, very high bandwidth communication.
  • The majority of text is created using continuous speech recognition (CSR) dictation software, but keyboards are still used. CSR is very accurate, far more so than the human transcriptionists who were used up until a few years ago.
  • Also ubiquitous are language user interfaces (LUIs), which combine continuous speech recognition (CSR) and natural
    language understanding. For routine matters, such as simple business transactions and information inquiries, LUIs are quite responsive and precise. They tend to be narrowly focused, however, on specific types of tasks. LUIs are frequently combined with animated personalities. Interacting with an animated personality to conduct a purchase or make a reservation is like talking to a person using videoconferencing, except that the person is simulated.
  • Computer displays have all the display qualities of paper — high resolution, high contrast, large viewing angle, and no flicker. Books, magazines, and newspapers are now routinely read on displays that are the size of, well, small books.
  • Computer displays built into eyeglasses are also used. These specialized glasses allow users to see the normal visual
    environment, while creating a virtual image that appears to hover in front of the viewer. The virtual images are created by a tiny laser built into the glasses that projects the images directly onto the user’s retinas.
  • Computers routinely include moving picture image cameras and are able to reliably identify their owners from their faces.
  • In terms of circuitry, three-dimensional chips are commonly used, and there is a transition taking place from the older single-layer chips.
  • Sound producing speakers are being replaced with very small chip-based devices that can place high-resolution sound anywhere in three-dimensional space. This technology is based on creating audible frequency sounds from the spectrum created by the interaction of very high frequency tones. As a result, very small speakers can create very robust three-dimensional sound.
  • A $1,000 personal computer can perform about a trillion calculations per second.
  • Supercomputers match at least the hardware capacity of the human brain — 20 million billion calculations per second (20 petaflops).
  • Unused computes on the Internet are being harvested, creating virtual parallel supercomputers with human brain hardware capacity.
  • There is increasing interest in massively parallel neural nets, genetic algorithms and other forms of “chaotic” or complexity theory computing, although most computer computations are still done using conventional sequential processing, albeit with some limited parallel processing.
  • Autonomous nanoengineered machines (i.e., machines constructed atom by atom and molecule by molecule) have been demonstrated and include their own computational controls. However, nanoengineering is not yet considered a practical technology.
  • Research has been initiated on reverse-engineering the human brain through both destructive scans of the brains of recently deceased persons as well as noninvasive scans using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of living persons and animals.
  • In the twentieth century, computers in schools were mostly on the trailing edge, with most effective learning from computers taking place in the home. Now in 2009 2019, while schools are still not on the cutting edge, the profound importance of the computer as a knowledge tool is widely recognized.
  • Computers play a central role in all facets of education, as they do in other spheres of life.
  • The majority of reading is done on displays, although the “installed base” of paper documents is still formidable.
  • The generation of paper documents is dwindling, as the books and other papers of largely twentieth-century vintage are being rapidly scanned and stored.
  • Documents, circa 2009 2019, routinely include embedded moving images and sounds.
  • Students of all ages typically have a computer of their own, which is a thin tablet-like device weighing under a pound with a very high-resolution display suitable for reading.
  • Students interact with their computers primarily by voice and by pointing with a device that looks like a pencil.
  • Keyboards still exist, but most textual language is created by speaking.
  • Learning materials are accessed through wireless communication.
  • Intelligent courseware has emerged as a common means of learning.
  • Recent controversial studies have shown that students can learn basic skills such as reading and math just as readily with interactive learning software as with human teachers, particularly when the ratio of students to human teachers is more than one to one. Although the studies have come under attack, most students and their parents have accepted this notion for years.
  • The traditional mode of a human teacher instructing a group of children is still prevalent, but schools are increasingly relying on software approaches, leaving human teachers to attend primarily to issues of motivation, psychological well-being, and socialization.
  • Many children learn to read on their own using their personal computers before entering grade school.
  • Preschool and elementary school children routinely read at their intellectual level using print-to-speech reading software until their reading skill level catches up.
  • These print-to-speech reading systems display the full image of documents, and can read the print aloud while highlighting what is being read.
  • Synthetic voices sound fully human.
  • Although some educators expressed concern in the early ‘00 years that students would rely unduly on reading software, such systems have been readily accepted by children and their parents.
  • Studies have shown that students improve their reading skills by being exposed to synchronized visual and auditory presentations of text.
  • Learning at a distance (e.g., lectures and seminars in which the participants are geographically scattered) is commonplace.
  • Learning is becoming a significant portion of most jobs.
  • Training and developing new skills is emerging as an ongoing responsibility in most careers, not just an occasional supplement, as the level of skill needed for meaningful employment soars ever higher.
  • Persons with disabilities are rapidly overcoming their handicaps through the intelligent technology of 2009 2019.
  • Students with reading disabilities routinely ameliorate their disability using print-to-speech reading systems.
  • Print-to-speech reading machines for the blind are now very small, inexpensive, palm-sized devices that can read books (those that still exist in paper form) and other printed documents, and other real-world text such as signs and displays.
  • These reading systems are equally adept at reading the trillions of electronic documents that are instantly available from the ubiquitous wireless worldwide network.
  • After decades of ineffective attempts, useful navigation devices have been introduced that can assist blind people in avoiding physical obstacles in their path, and finding their way around, using global positioning system (“GPS”) technology.
  • A blind person can interact with her personal reading-navigation systems through voice communication, kind of like a Seeing Eye dog that reads and talks.
  • Deaf persons — or anyone with a hearing impairment — commonly use portable speech-to-text listening machines, which display a real-time transcription of what people are saying. The deaf user has the choice of either reading the transcribed speech as displayed text, or watching an animated person gesturing in sign language. These have eliminated the primary communication handicap associated with deafness.
  • Listening machines can also translate what is being said into another language in real time, so they are commonly used by hearing people as well.
  • Computer-controlled orthotic devices have been introduced. These “walking machines” enable paraplegic persons to walk and climb stairs. The prosthetic devices are not yet usable by all paraplegic persons, as many physically disabled persons have dysfunctional joints from years of disuse. However, the advent of orthotic walking systems is providing more motivation to have these joints replaced.
  • There is a growing perception that the primary disabilities of blindness, deafness, and physical impairment do not necessarily impart handicaps. Disabled persons routinely describe their disabilities as mere inconveniences. Intelligent technology has become the great leveler.
  • Translating telephone technology (where you speak in English and your Japanese friend hears you in Japanese, and vice versa) is commonly used for many language pairs. It is a routine capability of an individual’s personal computer.
  • …which also serves as her phone.
  • “Telephone” communication is primarily wireless.
  • …and routinely includes high-resolution moving images.
  • Meetings of all kinds and sizes routinely take place among geographically separated participants.
  • There is effective convergence, at least on the hardware and supporting software level, of all media, which exist as digital objects (i.e., files).
  • …distributed by the ever-present, high-bandwidth, wireless information web.
  • Users can instantly download books, magazines, newspapers, television, radio, movies, and other forms of software to their highly portable personal communication devices.
  • Virtually all communication is digital and encrypted…
  • …with keys available to government authorities.
  • Many individuals and groups, including but not limited to criminal organizations, use an additional layer of virtually unbreakable encryption codes with no third party keys.
  • Haptic technologies are emerging that allow people to touch and feel objects and other persons at a distance.
  • These force feedback devices are widely used in games and in training simulation systems.
  • Interactive games routinely include all-encompassing visual and auditory environments…
  • …but a satisfactory, all-encompassing tactile environment is not yet available.
  • The online chat rooms of the late 1990s have been replaced with virtual environments where you can meet people with full visual realism.
  • People have sexual experiences at a distance with other persons as well as virtual partners.
  • But the lack of the “surround” tactile environment has thus far kept virtual sex out of the mainstream.
  • Virtual partners are popular as forms of sexual entertainment, but they are more game-like than real.
  • And phone sex is a lot more popular now that phones routinely include high resolution real-time moving images of the person on the other end.
  • Despite occasional corrections, the ten years leading up to 2009 2019 have seen continuous economic expansion and prosperity due to the dominance of the knowledge content of products and services.
  • The greatest gains continue to be in the value of the stock market
  • Price deflation concerned economists in the early ’00 years, but they quickly realized it was a good thing. The high tech community pointed out that significant deflation had existed in the computer hardware and software industries for many years earlier without detriment.
  • The United States continues to be the economic leader due to its primacy in popular culture and its entrepreneurial environment.
  • Since information markets are largely world markets, the U.S. has benefited greatly from its immigrant history. Being comprised of all the world’s peoples — specifically, the descendants of peoples from around the globe who had endured great risk for a better life — it has the ideal heritage for the new knowledge-based economy.
  • China has also emerged as a powerful economic player.
  • Europe has been somewhat quicker than Japan and Korea in adopting the American emphasis on venture capital, employee stock options, and tax policies that encourage entrepreneurship, although these practices have become popular throughout the world.
  • At least half of all transactions are conducted on-line.
  • Intelligent assistants which combine continuous speech recognition, natural language understanding, problem solving, and animated personalities routinely assist with finding information, answering questions and conducting transactions. Intelligent assistants have become a primary interface for interacting with information-based services, with a wide range of choices available. A recent poll shows that both male and female users prefer female personalities for their computer-based intelligent assistants. The two most popular are Maggie, who claims to be a waitress in a Harvard Square café, and Michelle, a stripper from New Orleans. Personality designers are in demand, and the field constitutes a growth area in software development.
  • Most purchases of books, musical “albums,” videos, games and other forms of software do not involve any physical object, so new business models for distributing these forms of information have emerged.
  • One shops for these information objects by “strolling” through virtual malls, sampling and selecting objects of interest, rapidly (and securely) conducting an on-line transaction, and then quickly downloading the information using high-speed wireless  communication.
  • There are many types and gradations of transactions to gain access to these products. You can “buy” a book, musical album, video, etc. which gives you unlimited permanent access.
  • Alternatively, you can rent access to read, view, or listen once, or a few times. Or you can rent access by the minute.
  • Access may be limited to one person or to a group of persons (for example, a family or a company). Alternatively, access may be limited to a particular computer, or to any computer accessed by a particular person or by a set of persons.
  • There is a strong trend towards the geographic separation of work groups. People are successfully working together despite living and working in different places.
  • The average household has more than a hundred computers, most of which are embedded in appliances and built-in communication systems.
  • Household robots have emerged, but are not yet fully accepted.
  • Intelligent roads are in use, primarily for long-distance travel. Once your car’s computer guidance system locks onto the control sensors on one of these highways, you can sit back and relax. Local roads, though, are still predominantly conventional. [Hilariously, Kurzweil himself says this isn't just wrong but "ten years off". Let's wait and see what 2029 will bring us!]
  • A company west of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon Line has surpassed a trillion dollars in market capitalization.
  • Privacy has emerged as a primary political issue. The virtually constant use of electronic communication technologies is leaving a highly detailed trail of every person’s every move.
  • Litigation, of which there has been a great deal, has placed some constraints on the widespread distribution of personal data.
  • Government agencies, however, continue to have the right to gain access to people’s files…
  • …which has resulted in the popularity of unbreakable encryption technologies.
  • There is a growing neo-Luddite movement, as the skill ladder continues to accelerate upwards.
  • As with earlier Luddite movements, its influence is limited by the level of prosperity made possible by new technology.
  • The movement does succeed in establishing continuing education as a primary right associated with employment.
  • There is continuing concern with an underclass that the skill ladder has left far behind. The size of the underclass appears to be stable, however.
  • Although not politically popular, the underclass is politically neutralized through public assistance and the generally high level of affluence.
  • The high quality of computer screens, and the facilities of computer-assisted visual rendering software, have made the computer screen a medium of choice for visual art.
  • Most visual art is the result of collaboration between human artists and their intelligent art software.
  • Virtual paintings — high-resolution, wall-hung displays — have become popular. Rather than always displaying the same work of art, as with a conventional painting or poster, these virtual paintings can change the displayed work at the user’s verbal command, or can cycle through collections of art. The displayed artwork can be works by human artists or original art created in real time by cybernetic art software.
  • Human musicians routinely jam with cybernetic musicians.
  • The creation of music has become available to persons who are not musicians.
  • Creating music does not necessarily require the fine motor coordination of using traditional controllers.
  • Cybernetic music creation systems allow people who appreciate music but who are not knowledgeable about music theory and practice to create music in collaboration with their automatic composition software.
  • Interactive brain-generated music, which creates a resonance between the user’s brainwaves and the music being listened to, is another popular genre.
  • Musicians commonly use electronic controllers which emulate the playing style of the old acoustic instruments (e.g., piano, guitar, violin, drums).
  • …but there is a surge of interest in the new “air” controllers in which you create music by moving your hands, feet, mouth and other body parts.
  • Other music controllers involve interacting with specially designed devices.
  • Writers use voice-activated word processing…
  • Grammar checkers are now actually useful.
  • Distribution of written documents from articles to books typically does not involve paper and ink.
  • Style improvement and automatic editing software is widely used to improve the quality of writing.
  • Language translation software is also widely used to translate written works in a variety of languages.
  • Nonetheless, the core process of creating written language is less affected by intelligent software technologies than the visual and musical arts. However, “cybernetic” authors are emerging.
  • Beyond music recordings, images, and movie videos, the most popular type of digital entertainment object is virtual experience software. These interactive virtual environments allow you to go whitewater rafting on virtual rivers, to hang glide in a virtual Grand Canyon, or to engage in intimate encounters with your favorite movie star.
  • Users also experience fantasy environments with no counterpart in the physical world.
  • The visual and auditory experience of virtual reality is compelling, but tactile interaction is still limited.
  • The security of computation and communication is the primary focus of the U.S. Department of Defense. There is general recognition that the side that can maintain the integrity of its computational resources will dominate the battlefield.
  • Humans are generally far removed from the scene of battle.
  • Warfare is dominated by unmanned intelligent airborne devices.
  • Many of these flying weapons are the size of small birds, or smaller.
  • The U.S. continues to be the world’s dominant military power, which is largely accepted by the rest of the world, as most countries concentrate on economic competition.
  • Military conflicts between nations are rare, and most conflicts are between nations and smaller bands of terrorists.
  • The greatest threat to national security comes from bioengineered weapons.
  • Bioengineered treatments have reduced the toll from cancer, heart disease, and a variety of other health problems.
  • Significant progress is being made in understanding the information processing basis of disease.
  • Telemedicine is widely used. Physicians can examine patients using visual, auditory and haptic examination from a distance. Health clinics with relatively inexpensive equipment and a single technician bring health care to remote areas where doctors had previously been scarce.
  • Computer-based pattern recognition is routinely used to interpret imaging data and other diagnostic procedures.
  • The use of noninvasive imaging technologies has substantially increased.
  • Diagnosis almost always involves collaboration between a human physician and a pattern recognition-based expert system.
  • Doctors routinely consult knowledge-based systems (generally through two-way voice communication augmented by visual displays), which provide automated guidance, access to the most recent medical research, and practice guidelines.
  • Lifetime patient records are maintained in computer databases.
  • Privacy issues concerning access to these records (as with many other data bases of personal information) have emerged as a major issue.
  • Doctors routinely train in virtual reality environments, which include a haptic interface. These systems simulate the visual,
    auditory and tactile experience of medical procedures, including surgery.
  • Simulated patients are available for continuing medical education, for medical students, and for people who just want to play doctor.
  • There is renewed interest in the Turing test, first proposed by Alan Turing in 1950 as a means for testing intelligence in a machine. Recall that the Turing test contemplates a situation in which a human judge interviews the computer and a human “foil,” communicating with both over terminal lines. If the human judge is unable to tell which interviewee is human and which is machine, the machine is deemed to possess human-level intelligence.
  • Although computers still fail the test, confidence is increasing that they will be in a position to pass it within another one or two decades.
  • There is serious speculation on the potential sentience (i.e., consciousness) of computer-based intelligence.
  • The increasingly apparent intelligence of computers has spurred an interest in philosophy.
  • Computers arriving at the beginning of the next decade will become essentially invisible: woven into our clothing, embedded in our furniture and environment.
  • [Computers] will tap into the worldwide mesh (aka the "Cloud", what the World Wide Web will become once all of its linked devices become communicating Web servers, thereby forming vast supercomputers and memory banks) of high-speed communications and computational resources.
  • We’ll have very high-bandwidth wireless communication to the Internet at all times.
  • Displays will be built into our eyeglasses and contact lenses and images projected directly onto our retinas.
  • Similar tiny devices will project auditory environments.
  • These resources will provide high-resolution, full-immersion, visual-auditory virtual reality at any time.
  • We will also have augmented reality with displays overlaying the real world to provide real-time guidance and explanations.
  • We’ll have real-time translation of foreign languages, essentially subtitles on the world.
  • We’ll have access to many forms of online information in our daily activities.
  • Virtual personalities that overlay the real world will help us with information retrieval and our chores and transactions. These virtual assistants won’t always wait for questions and directives but will step forward if they see us struggling to find a piece of information.”

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#22
wjfox

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It's almost uncanny how precise he was so long as you shift the accuracy by a decade.

 

So maybe the Singularity occurs around 2055, when I'm 76.



#23
funkervogt

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It's almost uncanny how precise he was so long as you shift the accuracy by a decade.

 

So maybe the Singularity occurs around 2055, when I'm 76.

 

Only if you assume that the lag time between Kurzweil's predictions and the dates that they actually come true stays fixed at 10 years. The lag time might grow: His 2009 predictions won't come true until 2019, his 2019 predictions won't come true until 2039, his 2029 predictions won't come true until 2059, his 2039 predictions don't come true until 2089, etc. At that rate of divergence, his 2045 date for the Singularity will actually happen around 2100. 

 

Coincidentally, that accords with my long-held personal belief that the technological Singularity won't happen, but more gradual advances to technology, science and standards of living will give rise to something closely resembling Kurzweil's post-Singularity vision by 2100. 



#24
Casey

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It's almost uncanny how precise he was so long as you shift the accuracy by a decade.

 

So maybe the Singularity occurs around 2055, when I'm 76.

 

 his 2019 predictions won't come true until 2039

 

Scanning through his predictions on Wikipedia (maybe I can do a point-by-point analysis in a few weeks once I have more time), I don't think this is the case for his 2019 predictions - or at least not across the board. A fair amount of them sound more like 2029 than 2039.



#25
starspawn0

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Quite a lot of Kurzweil's 2009 predictions were possible in about 2012 or 2013; and some were possible in 2016 or 2017. So, he wasn't too far off. One place where he maybe missed was in estimating consumer interest -- if it isn't there, companies won't develop the technology.

Well, maybe that's true if it's costly to make. Once it becomes very cheap to make a product, there isn't as much risk to companies to make and sell them -- so they do... or, they try to bundle it with some other, already-existing product, like a smartphone.

#26
tomasth

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funkervogt

What does it matter if his predictions are accurate or not ? The technological Singularity has other idependent proponents (aside for the various definitions).

 

Human level AI and or upload human , seems good enough to result in what can be describe as The technological Singularity.



#27
funkervogt

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funkervogt

What does it matter if his predictions are accurate or not ? The technological Singularity has other idependent proponents (aside for the various definitions).

 

Human level AI and or upload human , seems good enough to result in what can be describe as The technological Singularity.

Why are you coming into a thread about Ray Kurzweil's future predictions and asking me why I've written posts about Ray Kurzweil's future predictions? 



#28
Yuli Ban

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It's almost uncanny how precise he was so long as you shift the accuracy by a decade.

 
So maybe the Singularity occurs around 2055, when I'm 76.

 

Only if you assume that the lag time between Kurzweil's predictions and the dates that they actually come true stays fixed at 10 years. The lag time might grow: His 2009 predictions won't come true until 2019, his 2019 predictions won't come true until 2039, his 2029 predictions won't come true until 2059, his 2039 predictions don't come true until 2089, etc. At that rate of divergence, his 2045 date for the Singularity will actually happen around 2100. 
 
Coincidentally, that accords with my long-held personal belief that the technological Singularity won't happen, but more gradual advances to technology, science and standards of living will give rise to something closely resembling Kurzweil's post-Singularity vision by 2100.

 

The reason why I focus on a 10-year-gap is because of course it would be arbitrary. His predictions for 2009 could have theoretically come true any point in time between 1999 and 2009, but he went with 2009 since that was the end of the decade. It's not as if every single thing would have all come true in 2009 or 2019. And since he used a decade-gap between his predictions (2009 > 2019 > 2029 > 2039), I decided to keep that pattern.

 

That said, I'm just not quite clear on how the accuracy starts shifting over longer periods when there are more minds and more pattern-recognizing systems at work to actually brings these things to light. One of the big reasons why there are so many advancements now is because of the population of scientists and engineers working on these problems. Barring war or global disaster, this population isn't decreasing. Indeed, over the course of the next decade, there will be more STEM-educated minds arising from new areas of the world using previous developments to create new innovations. Just adding South Asia and Africa to this gives us a potential 50,000% increase in this population in ten years, especially as the internet spreads. 

And that's not even taking into consideration AI. As mentioned, AI at the present is mostly "digital pattern-recognition". Even if that's all it remains until 2028, there are many areas where greater power will allow for Kurzweilian advancements.

 

For example, the reason why the stellarator fusion reactor was so effective was because it was partially designed by supercomputers to find efficiencies that have eluded humans. It's entirely possible that for as difficult as it becomes to overcome future developments as predicted by Kurzweil, AIs become that much more capable (by design since they might even be made specifically to accomplish what Kurzweil predicted).


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#29
funkervogt

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The reason why I focus on a 10-year-gap is because of course it would be arbitrary. His predictions for 2009 could have theoretically come true any point in time between 1999 and 2009, but he went with 2009 since that was the end of the decade. It's not as if every single thing would have all come true in 2009 or 2019. And since he used a decade-gap between his predictions (2009 > 2019 > 2029 > 2039), I decided to keep that pattern.

Maybe the best thing to do is to split the difference when calculating the size of the "2009 predictions" gap. 

 

About 2/3 of his predictions came true by the end of 2009, 1/6 of the remainder came true by about 2015, and most of the leftover 1/6 will probably come true by the end of 2019. We could use simple math to calculate a median or to create a bell curve distribution or something. 



#30
Kynareth

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Physics lecture at a university, writing from my own experience:
2009  - all 60 students attending write in paper notebooks (like in 1999), most of them still don't own smartphones, let alone smartwatches
today - 11 out of 60 use tablets with pencils and 6 use laptops/ultrabooks, all have smartphones in their bags or pockets, some of them even own a smartwatch
Predictions:
2019  - in all probability the number of students using computers instead of paper notebooks reaches 1/3
2029  - it's plausible that 60 out of 60 students will be using electronic devices instead of traditional methods
2039  - by then Augmented Reality (glasses) will be all the rage


#31
Raklian

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Physics lecture at a university, writing from my own experience:
2009  - all 60 students attending write in paper notebooks (like in 1999), most of them still don't own smartphones, let alone smartwatches
today - 11 out of 60 use tablets with pencils and 6 use laptops/ultrabooks, all have smartphones in their bags or pockets, some of them even own a smartwatch
Predictions:
2019  - in all probability the number of students using computers instead of paper notebooks reaches 1/3
2029  - it's plausible that 60 out of 60 students will be using electronic devices instead of traditional methods
2039  - by then Augmented Reality (glasses) will be all the rage

 

 

2049 - robot overlords will do all the studying and thinking for us.  :biggrin:


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#32
BasilBerylium

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*overserfs

 

At least until 2059.


This website has a magic that makes people draw back here like moths to light.


#33
Kynareth

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In some areas we are still behind his 2009 prediction and in some we exceeded them. I am especially disappointed by personal AI assistant software, which I expected to be better in every way by now, including a 3D persona. Even though all of that is true, passing the Turing Test by 2029 may happen anyway. Why? Because there are extremely large amounts of money on stake, best hardware in huge quantities will be used, most capable of people will be working on the General AI problem. Go, Starcraft II and DOTA 2 were beaten, Google Duplex works. Nvidia A100 today can do up to even as much as 2.5 petaops for deep learning, so I can totally see a very very expensive supercomputer used in 2029 to brute force real-time brain simulation or teach AI human-level intelligence. Singularity by 2045 isn't out of question yet.



#34
funkervogt

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Singularity by 2045 isn't out of question yet.

 

I'm skeptical of the concept of a technological singularity, but at current rates, the invention of an AGI by 2045 is plausible. It won't be able to initiate a singularity, though. 



#35
Kynareth

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After inventing AGI, progress will surely keep speeding up. AGI will solve problems and allow for widespread robots doing all kinds of work.



#36
funkervogt

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After inventing AGI, progress will surely keep speeding up.

I agree, but this doesn't necessarily mean that the rate of progress will get so fast the humans won't be able to keep track of what's going on, or to have some influence over the direction of events. Ergo, you can have an AGI-driven acceleration in science/tech progress while not having a technological singularity. 



#37
TranscendingGod

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After inventing AGI, progress will surely keep speeding up.

I agree, but this doesn't necessarily mean that the rate of progress will get so fast the humans won't be able to keep track of what's going on, or to have some influence over the direction of events. Ergo, you can have an AGI-driven acceleration in science/tech progress while not having a technological singularity. 

 

It depends on what you mean by "keep track of what's going on". Presumably a millennium ago it would have been possible to have a quite thorough understanding of most things happening in one's world. In fact it would even be possible to be close to expert level on must subjects. Possible, perhaps, but already quite difficult. Today that is an impossibility. Specialization arose as a necessity as no one could master even a fraction of all of current human knowledge. The foremost experts in AI have a very vague understanding of the chemistry of gastronomy, string theory, or other subjects. Indeed they may know more than you and I on the subjects but it is more likely than not that they are not aware of the newest development in even a fraction of 1% of all fields today. Thus, by this definition we are already in a technological singularity. One must actively strive to stay afloat of the information deluge of new advances. 

 

In fact for the layman he is painfully unaware of the true direction and progression of technology. Or indeed even of the overall trends. Lest we discredit the layman as being different from the polymaths of the world you can even see that someone like Elon Musk believes, with near certainty, that he will die at 80 or so, as evinced by his recent statements on the progress of space travel and him not being able to see a landing on Mars before he dies, and as far as I am aware does not invest in life extension technologies. This is the case even though most cutting edge researchers in the field increasingly believe it likely that we will live for far longer than 80 years.

 

The case, then, is clear that even at our current rate of progression no one is able to keep up with even a fraction of all advancements that occur daily. Renewable energy, AI, life extension, and a myriad other things are happening and a majority of humankind is unaware. Things are quite literally happening so fast that even the most educated get so many things wrong and are quite backward when it comes to anything outside their area of immediate expertise.


The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth.

#38
starspawn0

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One thing Kurzweil -- and the CIA and other government agencies -- failed to predict is the advent of intermediate-range BCI devices, in-between ones like EEG and ones that enable FIVR.  And furthermore, how this will impact AI development.  I had been writing about the coming BCI revolution that the government wasn't paying attention to for months and months; and I was perplexed at their lack of insight.  Oh, sure, they -- and Kurzweil -- were thinking about far-future tech like next-next-gen Neuralink device, where people connect their brains to computers to merge with AI.  But BCIs like Kernel has built were just not on their radar.  Even DARPA set not-too-ambitious goals for their N^3 program.  
 
Anyways, I wrote about how  all these guys got it wrong here:
 
https://www.futureti...rning/?p=280827
 

Now, we are about to enter a new age. All the people who failed to predict it are bad forecasters -- they will need to review their predictions to see how they got it wrong. My theory about how the CIA and intelligence community got it so wrong is the fact that they don't have enough people with technical insight. They probably have a lot of political science people, maybe a few people with a BS degree in engineering (RAND corporation types); but they don't have many scientists with the requisite technical knowledge to play "is this possible?" scenarios. What you need is some creative insight, as well as some degree of technical knowledge (preferably ph.d.-level) to do that kind of forecasting. They should also have enough confidence to look past what is being written in popular science magazines, that even just a week ago were saying this kind of tech is "decades away".

Here is a sign that the tech is really, really good: [quotes comments by Christof Koch.]Koch is the director of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. If he is optimistic, you can take it to the bank that this is going to be revolutionary. And, no, he's not talking about FNIRS or EEG; he's talking about something on-par with (or better than) FMRI, ECOG, or MEG -- both high temporal resolution, and high spatial resolution.


Now, maybe this old post of mine about next-gen dyes for the brain makes more sense:

https://www.futureti...an-governments/

It reminds me of how people failed to predict how severe Covid-19 would turn out to be. In that case, at least some scientists knew what was coming. It just takes a little commonsense and some elementary calculations to estimate the severity.

#39
TranscendingGod

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^ To be fair Kurzweil did talk about the increasing resolution of non-invasive scanning techniques for the brain. While I don't specifically recall anything about BCIs he did talk about the enabling of brain uploading and the reverse engineering of the brain due to these advancements. All without any invasive procedures being necessitated. When he talked about the merger of the human brain and computers in his books I mainly recall it being about the perfusion of nanobots throughout our brain. 


The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth.

#40
starspawn0

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Yeah, but that's not the same thing.  One visionary who did see the future a little bit is Greg Egan.  He was much closer than Kurzweil; but didn't think in terms of "neural populations".







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines, The Singularity is Near, 2009, 2019, Singularity

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