Tech­nolog­i­cal Forecasting

TagLast edit: 26 Sep 2020 0:05 UTC by Swimmer963

Technological forecasting means making predictions about future technological advances.

One approach is extrapolating from past data. 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.

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

Be­ware boast­ing about non-ex­is­tent fore­cast­ing track records

Jotto99920 May 2022 19:20 UTC
241 points
109 comments5 min readLW link

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

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

Long-Term Tech­nolog­i­cal Forecasting

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

Gen­eral-pur­pose fore­cast­ing and the as­so­ci­ated community

VipulNaik26 Jun 2014 2:49 UTC
6 points
0 comments8 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

Launch­ing the Fore­cast­ing AI Progress Tournament

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

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

Daniel Kokotajlo18 Jan 2021 12:08 UTC
181 points
84 comments14 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

Chris­ti­ano, Co­tra, and Yud­kowsky on AI progress

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

More Chris­ti­ano, Co­tra, and Yud­kowsky on AI progress

6 Dec 2021 20:33 UTC
84 points
30 comments40 min readLW link

Con­ver­sa­tion on tech­nol­ogy fore­cast­ing and gradualism

9 Dec 2021 21:23 UTC
106 points
31 comments31 min readLW link

Un­bounded Scales, Huge Jury Awards, & Futurism

Eliezer Yudkowsky29 Nov 2007 7:45 UTC
56 points
10 comments3 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
19 points
13 comments4 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
6 points
0 comments16 min readLW link

Biol­ogy-In­spired AGI Timelines: The Trick That Never Works

Eliezer Yudkowsky1 Dec 2021 22:35 UTC
174 points
140 comments65 min readLW link

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
90 points
13 comments2 min readLW link

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

Kakili27 Apr 2022 22:07 UTC
10 points
2 comments9 min readLW link
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