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What makes future timelines predictions accurate?

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#1
thetrueAlpha01

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We all remember those predictions of the future from the late 20th century, right? 2020, flying cars, robots in every home being our butlers, endless power, hoverboards, cyberpunk-like look to everything? Those all went pretty far off from what reality is. How can we be sure that, for example that by 2065 we will have basically eliminated aging? That by in the coming centuries, spaceships will run on antimatter, and all of that stuff. We have been so wrong before, so what makes us right about these things? I'm just trying to stop myself from becoming too invested in this whole anti aging thing when there could be a relatively high chance that this stuff never happens.



#2
Outlook

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The creator is actually a time traveller who set this website up as a guide, sometimes he throws in fake predictions to throw the time police off but afaik the anti-aging predictions are correct.

But time traveller aside, he uses sources for each of his predictions, really just judge yourself the veracity of those predictions. Futurism has always been plagued by ideas that are fantastical and ignore realism. My personal examples on this are terraforming, green suburban space habitats, and some aspects of BCIs. Flying cars are a historical example, why did we ever even need flying cars, and why is it unrealistic?

I'd question the use the and purpose of the technology and whether it can be achieved with something easier and better. For anti-aging tech, it's very clear that there is a purpose and strong motivation behind its progression, so to me it's almost a certainty that people will try to make themselves live longer.

Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/GMYezR1cwFA


#3
wjfox

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I don't claim the timeline is "accurate", or "such-and-such will absolutely happen". It's more of a rough guide of what we can expect, and when (there are some exceptions to this, e.g. astronomical or geological events that are almost certainly scheduled to happen, like the return of Halley's comet).

 

I try to avoid being overly-optimistic or overly-pessimistic, but instead aim for a balanced middle-ground. And like I've said from the start, this is a group/collaborative project, so I take into consideration the opinions of other people – and then weigh that against the references, studies, data, etc. which I find online.

 

As the website has grown and developed, the timeline itself has begun to generate references, sort of like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. For example, if we know that space travel is likely to become very cheap by 2080 (based on projected trends in launch costs), then we can use that as a reference for increased space travel/colonisation from that point onwards – a kind of "stepping stone" to later dates/milestones.



#4
TheAughat

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The difference right now, is that we have the prerequisites to start a revolution in intelligence. Everything humanity has ever accomplished has been due to our intelligence and our ability to cooperate with each other. Once AGI and BCIs come along, both human and non-human intelligence will increase massively, and this will in turn push forward progress in all fields. I'm not sure about antimatter spaceships and other far future tech, but we should be able to halt aging this century, at the very least. 
 
Here's a great post by Yuli Ban, where he talks about how the proper set-up and build-up needs to happen, before any given technology can come to fruition.
 
Edit: I quoted the part of the post I'm talking about below:
 

What else has the Future brought us? Manchildren screaming while playing video games to amuse 12-year-olds. The ability to stream generic electro-pop music to your cellphone. Slightly more standardized cruise control in cars. E-pads that are basically just digital books. You can talk to people online now, so basically just telephones but over the internet. The International Space Station, okay that's actually a good one. But it's still in low-Earth orbit and we rarely put more than maybe to 8 people there. Oh, and we discontinued space shuttles and are hitching rides on Russian rockets. 

 

Christ, the Future fucking sucks. Where's our robots? Where's our flying cars? Where's our kilometer-high starscrapers? Where's our VR? Where's our artificial intelligence? Where's our fusion power? Where's our Unified Theory of Everything? Where's our resurrected woolly mammoths?

Instead we have President Trump, we had a great recession, we had more wars in the Middle East and a drug war in Mexico, people getting addicted to opium, and some neat gadgets here and there.

 

 

It's easy to be disillusioned because you're basically just reading about countries building dams and internet companies refining text search for 20 years.

 

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the next technological S curve starts once we reach the baseline of hardware and knowledge necessary to launch ourselves upwards. In other words, the foundation is now set and it's time to start building. 

We were waiting very patiently for useful robots and getting frustrated that, year after year and decade after decade, they remained elusive. Within five to ten years, we might see utility droids in our houses, actively serving us. How did it happen so quickly? Why now and not in the 1980s? Why is it this "five to ten years" and not the last one? It's like asking why a 15 year old is expected to get a job in the next five to ten years rather than 1 year old. If you want a robot, you need sufficient computing power and sufficiently capable AI and sufficiently capable training. Computers, even supercomputers in the 1970s were pissweak and routinely outdone by handheld video game consoles in the 1990s. So they couldn't run vision systems at any acceptable rate. There was no real internet or ethernet to share massive data sets: again, computers were too weak. It'd probably take a year just to download a few images of a living room unless they were compressed to the point of being useless. Hence why we had to get robots to model their environment on the spot, which naturally ran into limits. And since there was no widespread internet, you couldn't easily share the results of that training with other teams; they'd pretty much have to redo everything from scratch. You couldn't share videos especially, and you couldn't even share image; just text, and not a lot of text at that. The sensors on the robot would be weak as well, so whatever data you generate is low-quality.  

 

In order to get domestic utility robots, you need massive training programs to get these droids to understand latent space, natural language, and commonsense. We're talking petabytes of data. You need the infrastructure first before you can get that data. You need computer networks with very high bandwidth to share that data. You need internet protocols and services that facilitate and ease the difficult in sharing data. You need easier access to said data. You need a larger pool of scientists who are educated enough and healthy enough to come onto these sorts of projects in the first place. And this robot will not be the first robot ever; you're going to want a market for robots in the first place, exploiting what you're already capable of doing. To get enough data, though, you're going to need some way to get people to make enough data. Smartphones are the perfect tool. You need refinements to video processing and natural language processing too. Suddenly, those enterprise speech recognition algorithms and livestream apps don't seem so useless. 

 

And then, of course, you also build on direct developments like robotics teams that experimented for decades to figure out how to get a humanoid to walk, or prosthestics teams that developed amazing bionic arms and legs. Then comes artificial intelligence to save the day. Now that there's ungodly amount of data generated every day (more in a day than the entirety of the 1970s), all you have to do is collect that data and feed it into the right algorithms (and hopefully find more efficient ways to do more with less). 

 

It all starts coming together at a rapid rate right around the same time. And right alongside it, advancements in artificial intelligence and Big Data also spur along progress in genetic engineering via great improvements in the likes of CRISPR and protein folding; AI helps bridge the gap between functional and practical driverless cars (which also thus solves the biggest problem limiting flying cars); AI begins allowing for you to generate any sort of synthetic media you want, no matter what it is, room-temperature superconductors, graphene, quantum & DNA computing, and fusion power finally come into reach; photorealism becomes possible in digital graphics right on time for virtual reality to take advantage of it all; the limits to growth shift as automation takes away the need to account for human physiology and, thus, experience both extreme growth and sustainability for cheaper costs; the internet develops a sort of rudimentary intelligence as a result of cognitive agents being constructed out of next-generation chatbots; biometric feedback and neurotechnology allow for greater accuracy in AI data sets which in turn allows for more powerful and robust AI with which to use to construct the Future. 

 

The take-off will be an exciting time all its own as it was in the 1870s-1880s and the 1940s-1950s when optimism over new innovations spread rapidly. The sense that the future will just be more of the same will begin to wane. 

 

This time, however, things are going to be a little different. The foundational futurism of the 2000s onwards haven't prepared us for what's coming next.

 



#5
Futurist

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The creator is actually a time traveller who set this website up as a guide, sometimes he throws in fake predictions to throw the time police off but afaik the anti-aging predictions are correct.

But time traveller aside, he uses sources for each of his predictions, really just judge yourself the veracity of those predictions. Futurism has always been plagued by ideas that are fantastical and ignore realism. My personal examples on this are terraforming, green suburban space habitats, and some aspects of BCIs. Flying cars are a historical example, why did we ever even need flying cars, and why is it unrealistic?

I'd question the use the and purpose of the technology and whether it can be achieved with something easier and better. For anti-aging tech, it's very clear that there is a purpose and strong motivation behind its progression, so to me it's almost a certainty that people will try to make themselves live longer.

How exactly do you think that the anti-aging predictions are correct? I mean, there's a wide variety in human intelligence (maybe IQs from 0 to 200, IDK for sure), but less so for human lifespan. Most humans die in the age 70 to 110 range--with virtually no one living to age 120+.







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