AC2005: Ray Kurzweil

09/17/05 00:00:00    

By Michael Mealling

Up next is Ray Kurzweil: Re: hard vs soft takeoff or “how to protect ourselves from pathologically strong AI” is probably one of the most important questions.

If you accept the power law aspects of all of the metrics of technological development then you probably have a very radical view of what the future may look like. But people in general have a very linear view of it as its happening. or “if you take any exponential curve and just look at a very small segment it looks like a straight line”.

He came to all of this trying to determine which startups would succeed and which ones wouldn't. The models they creates have actually held up but all predict a period at which the model falls apart. I.e. all the Excell cells show “#######”.

Right now he's showing several very historical models of technology development and the exponential nature of evolution and change. or “when you stand on the shoulders of giants you get really good at climbing giants”.

This slide is the 6 epochs of evolution: chemical, biological, Brains, Technology, Merger of technology and intelligence, The Universe Wakes Up.

This slide shows the same stacked S curves that Vernor showed. its not that a single technology is exponential, but the subsequence generations of technologies are.

(Hmm….. we're spending a lot of time on this stuff which should be common knowledge to this crowd.)

The point Ray is getting to is that the models suggest that the beginning of the phase shift will probably start in the next 20 years.

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