[extropy-chat] Futures Past--time-line
thespike at satx.rr.com
Mon Oct 10 16:05:07 UTC 2005
At 08:00 AM 10/10/2005 -0500, Max wrote:
>And *ten* years ago, in Extropy #15, the Future Forecasts section
>"compared educated estimates of future breakthroughs by Gregory Benford,
>Alcor's Steve Bridge, Eric Drexler, FM-2030, Mark Miller, Max More, and
>I don't have the text handy on computer (but will eventually extract it
>from old floppies). Anyone have the time and inclination and the issue to
>type this up for the list?
Haven't seen that, but here's something comparable, from THE SPIKE
(formatting will probably go nuts in email, alas):
Merkle still cites the August 1995 Wired poll of experts (chemistry
professor Robert Birge, materials science professor Donald W. Brenner,
Drexler, computer scientist J. Storrs Hall (JoSH), and Nobelist chemist
Richard E. Smalley) on several aspects of a time-line to working nano. Here
are their now somewhat superannuated but interesting estimates:
Birge Brenner Drexler Hall Smalley
Molecular Assembler: 2005 2025 2015 2010 2000
Nanocomputer: 2040 2040 2017 2010 2100
Cell Repair: 2030 2035 2018 2050 2010
Commercial product: 2002 2000 2015 2005 2000
# Moravec: multipurpose `universal' robots by 2010, with
`humanlike competence' in cheap computers by around 2039--a more
conservative estimate than Ray Kurzweil's, but astonishing none the less.
Even so, he considers a Vingean singularity as likely within 50 years.
# Kaku: no computer expert, superstring physicist Michio Kaku
surveyed some 150 scientists in devised a profile of the next century and
farther. He concludes broadly that from `2020 to 2050, the world of
computers may well be dominated by invisible, networked computers which
have the power of artificial intelligence: reason, speech recognition, even
common sense'.172 In the next century or two, he expects humanity to
achieve a Type I Kardeshev civilization, with planetary governance and
technology able to control weather but essentially restricted to Earth.
Only later, between 800 and 2500 years farther on, will humanity pass to
Type II, with command of the entire solar system. Once the consensus dream
of science fiction, this must now be seen as excessively conservative.
# Vinge: as we noted at the outset, Vernor Vinge's part-playful,
part-serious proposal that a singularity was imminent puts the date at
around 2020, marking the end of the human era. Maybe as soon as 2014.
2.72. Michio Kaku, Visions (1998), p. 28.
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