Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Why we can't see the Technological Singularity coming

This is a graph of Ray Kurzweil's prediction of Exponential Growth of Computing. It is an important part of explaining the "technological singularity" in which in a short space of time, human thought will be surpassed by Artificial Intelligence (and / or transhuman intelligence).

Kurzweil's graph is on a logarithmic plot, so the effects seem limited somehow. If you roughly plot the same data from 1960 to 2010, you can see the reason why so many people are disappointed in advances in Artificial Intelligence compared to what they expected.
This is a simple graph I made myself using the data from Kurzweil's graph above but using an everyday normal(linear) scale.

You could be forgiven for finding it a bit implausible that the blue line is going to surpass the red line shortly after 2020 based on the data presented in this graph.

But when (and if) the blue line does surpass our own number of calculations in a fashion that Kurzweil predicts in his logarithmic graph above and in his books then it will happen in a what feels like a flash -> BOOM -> you can't see it coming until it almost hits, and watching and following afterwards would be impossible for the conventional human brain. In the graph below, instead of the graph of 1960 to present 2010, this is the graph from 1960 to 2025. How old will you be around that time ?

Addition June 10th this video. It shows that it's all about perspective. It is about where you are sitting.

Comments, questions or E-mails welcome: ajbrenninkmeijer (a) gmail.com

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