Tech­nolog­i­cal Forecasting

TagLast edit: 23 Nov 2022 13:30 UTC by weverka

Technological forecasting means making predictions about future technological advances.

One approach is extrapolating from past data. Extrapolating an exponential quickly. leads to very large changes. Moore’s Law, which says that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years, is the classic example. Bela Nagy’s performance curve database, perhaps the most systematic attempt at such extrapolation, has found similar trends in many technologies. Ray Kurzweil is a well-known advocate of exponential technological growth models. On the other hand, an exponential curve is indistinguishable from the early stages of a logistic curve that eventually approaches a ceiling, and all real world exponentials fail to continue their growth. Consequently any attempt to extrapolate exponential growth requires entertaining all the mechanisms that might curtail growth.

Another approach is expert elicitation, such as in the survey taken at the Global Catastrophic Risk Conference, and a survey of artificial general intelligence researchers on AGI timelines.

One could create probabilistic models more complicated than a simple trend extrapolation. Anders Sandberg has done calculations on timelines for whole brain emulation, based on an analysis of prerequisite technologies. The Uncertain Future is a web application (developed by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute and currently in beta) that works with probability distributions provided by the user to calculate the probability of a disruption to “business as usual”, which could come in the form of either a global disaster or the invention of artificial general intelligence.

An important danger in predicting the future is that one might tell complex stories with many details, any of which could fail and invalidate the prediction. Models like that used in The Uncertain Future attempt to avoid this problem by considering outcomes that could come about in multiple ways, and assigning some probability to many different scenarios.

Blog posts

External links

See also

Birds, Brains, Planes, and AI: Against Ap­peals to the Com­plex­ity/​Mys­te­ri­ous­ness/​Effi­ciency of the Brain

Daniel Kokotajlo18 Jan 2021 12:08 UTC
185 points
85 comments14 min readLW link1 review

Be­ware boast­ing about non-ex­is­tent fore­cast­ing track records

Jotto99920 May 2022 19:20 UTC
286 points
111 comments5 min readLW link

Gen­eral-pur­pose fore­cast­ing and the as­so­ci­ated community

VipulNaik26 Jun 2014 2:49 UTC
6 points
0 comments8 min readLW link

AI Timelines via Cu­mu­la­tive Op­ti­miza­tion Power: Less Long, More Short

jacob_cannell6 Oct 2022 0:21 UTC
138 points
33 comments6 min readLW link

Will we run out of ML data? Ev­i­dence from pro­ject­ing dataset size trends

Pablo Villalobos14 Nov 2022 16:42 UTC
74 points
12 comments2 min readLW link

Fu­tur­ism’s Track Record

lukeprog29 Jan 2014 20:27 UTC
18 points
17 comments1 min readLW link

Fu­tures stud­ies: the field and the as­so­ci­ated community

VipulNaik2 Jul 2014 23:47 UTC
6 points
2 comments5 min readLW link

Long-Term Tech­nolog­i­cal Forecasting

lukeprog11 Jan 2012 4:13 UTC
35 points
3 comments1 min readLW link

Re­vis­it­ing the Hori­zon Length Hypothesis

Pablo Villalobos6 Apr 2023 6:39 UTC
21 points
4 comments3 min readLW link

Chris­ti­ano, Co­tra, and Yud­kowsky on AI progress

25 Nov 2021 16:45 UTC
119 points
95 comments68 min readLW link

Launch­ing the Fore­cast­ing AI Progress Tournament

Tamay7 Dec 2020 14:08 UTC
20 points
0 comments1 min readLW link

[Question] Which tech­nolo­gies are stuck on ini­tial adop­tion?

Vanessa Kosoy29 Apr 2023 17:37 UTC
58 points
39 comments1 min readLW link

Un­bounded Scales, Huge Jury Awards, & Futurism

Eliezer Yudkowsky29 Nov 2007 7:45 UTC
66 points
10 comments3 min readLW link

An­nounc­ing Epoch: A re­search or­ga­ni­za­tion in­ves­ti­gat­ing the road to Trans­for­ma­tive AI

27 Jun 2022 13:55 UTC
95 points
2 comments2 min readLW link

AXRP Epi­sode 10 - AI’s Fu­ture and Im­pacts with Katja Grace

DanielFilan23 Jul 2021 22:10 UTC
34 points
2 comments76 min readLW link

Con­ver­sa­tion on tech­nol­ogy fore­cast­ing and gradualism

9 Dec 2021 21:23 UTC
108 points
30 comments31 min readLW link

More Chris­ti­ano, Co­tra, and Yud­kowsky on AI progress

6 Dec 2021 20:33 UTC
91 points
28 comments40 min readLW link

How to write good AI fore­cast­ing ques­tions + Ques­tion Database (Fore­cast­ing in­fras­truc­ture, part 3)

3 Sep 2019 14:50 UTC
29 points
0 comments4 min readLW link

ChatGPT is our Wright Brothers moment

Ron J25 Dec 2022 16:26 UTC
10 points
9 comments1 min readLW link

[Question] How could hu­mans dom­i­nate over a su­per in­tel­li­gent AI?

Marco Discendenti27 Jan 2023 18:15 UTC
−5 points
8 comments1 min readLW link

What is your timelines for ADI (ar­tifi­cial dis­em­pow­er­ing in­tel­li­gence)?

Christopher King17 Apr 2023 17:01 UTC
3 points
3 comments2 min readLW link

A Guide to Fore­cast­ing AI Science Ca­pa­bil­ities

Eleni Angelou29 Apr 2023 23:24 UTC
6 points
1 comment4 min readLW link

For­mal­iz­ing the “AI x-risk is un­likely be­cause it is ridicu­lous” argument

Christopher King3 May 2023 18:56 UTC
40 points
17 comments3 min readLW link

Are healthy choices effec­tive for im­prov­ing live ex­pec­tancy any­more?

Christopher King8 May 2023 21:25 UTC
6 points
4 comments1 min readLW link

AI Risk & Policy Fore­casts from Me­tac­u­lus & FLI’s AI Path­ways Workshop

_will_16 May 2023 18:06 UTC
9 points
4 comments8 min readLW link

What “The Mes­sage” Was For Me

Alex Beyman11 Oct 2022 8:08 UTC
−3 points
14 comments4 min readLW link

A prior for tech­nolog­i­cal discontinuities

NunoSempere13 Oct 2020 16:51 UTC
70 points
17 comments6 min readLW link

Steel­man ar­gu­ments against the idea that AGI is in­evitable and will ar­rive soon

RomanS9 Oct 2021 6:22 UTC
20 points
12 comments5 min readLW link

What if we should use more en­ergy, not less?

Snorkelfarsan16 Oct 2021 19:51 UTC
4 points
12 comments6 min readLW link

HIRING: In­form and shape a new pro­ject on AI safety at Part­ner­ship on AI

Madhulika Srikumar24 Nov 2021 8:27 UTC
6 points
0 comments1 min readLW link

Com­pute Re­search Ques­tions and Met­rics—Trans­for­ma­tive AI and Com­pute [4/​4]

lennart28 Nov 2021 22:49 UTC
7 points
0 comments16 min readLW link

Biol­ogy-In­spired AGI Timelines: The Trick That Never Works

Eliezer Yudkowsky1 Dec 2021 22:35 UTC
177 points
141 comments65 min readLW link1 review

Me­tac­u­lus launches con­test for es­says with quan­ti­ta­tive pre­dic­tions about AI

8 Feb 2022 16:07 UTC
25 points
2 comments1 min readLW link

Com­pute Trends Across Three eras of Ma­chine Learning

16 Feb 2022 14:18 UTC
91 points
13 comments2 min readLW link

AI Alter­na­tive Fu­tures: Sce­nario Map­ping Ar­tifi­cial In­tel­li­gence Risk—Re­quest for Par­ti­ci­pa­tion (*Closed*)

Kakili27 Apr 2022 22:07 UTC
10 points
2 comments8 min readLW link

Every­body Comes Back

Alex Beyman24 Sep 2022 23:53 UTC
8 points
0 comments27 min readLW link

Fore­sight for AGI Safety Strat­egy: Miti­gat­ing Risks and Iden­ti­fy­ing Golden Opportunities

jacquesthibs5 Dec 2022 16:09 UTC
16 points
4 comments8 min readLW link
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