MEDIA: Forbes Magazine discusses AI and the Singularity (well, kinda)

Doug Bailey (
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 15:07:27 -0400

Forbes recently had an article concerning Ray Kurzweil (of Kurzweil Applied Intelligence fame) and speech recognition. The remarkable aspect of the article was a chart that outlined Kurzweil's own opinion of the future of computing power. Kurzweil even alludes to a Singularity-type event.

Relevant excerpts:

"Kurzweil's long-term impact, however, is much greater than just speech recognition. His belief in the exponential growth of technology gives voice to humanity's possibilities. He is a visionary whose predictions are based on hard science. [Doug note: Last I checked, Grove's Law runs into a problem called "physics" around 2012 or so. Kurzweil does not offer any insight into how this problem might be overcome - though parallel processing might work. ] There is no way the march of technology will stop, he says. It will continue to increase exponentially until it 'ultimately creates itself'."

"The future according to Kurzweil: Computing Power:

200 mips reached in 1998: Speech recognition achieved [Doug note: Didn't Univ. of Tokyo's GRAPE-4 exceed 1,000 mips already?]
200,000 mips reached in 2007: Phones automatically translate different languages and paraplegics have computer-powered walking machines.
3.2 million mips reached in 2010: Supercomputers have the computing power of the human brain.
20 million mips reached in 2020: PCs [Doug note: Do we really think we'll be calling them "PCs" at this point?] have the computing capacity of the human brain.
200 trillion mips reached in 2029: Human intelligence is reverse engineered. Machines claim to be human."