Re: What's in store for 2008?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Jan 18 2001 - 18:18:51 MST wrote:
> Samantha,
> I think you're being too critical of Eliezer's explanation for changing his
> estimate to 2008. As I recall the conversation, Eli said he'd revised his
> personal projection about how soon the Singularity was likely to occur and
> someone else asked him what his reasons were. This is very different from
> asking him to defend his projection or to convince anyone else of it.
> Eliezer listed his reasons, and I took them in that spirit: they might be
> tentative conclusions, they might be based on private information, they
> might be intended as conservative guesses.
> Asking (seemed like demanding to me) him to come up with schedules and
> budgets in order to convince you goes beyond what he offered. If you were
> to ask if he can defend those beliefs, you'd be on more solid ground.

Well, personally I think very strong claims or projections of what is
coming when, especially the Singularity coming that soon, require a bit
of evidence before being taken seriously.

Also, I have heard a lot about this SI and I want very much to know that
it is moving solidly as a project and piece of work. My interest is not

> That said, I agree with you that some of his reasoning seems speculative
> and optimistic at best. But given point 4:
> > I stopped thinking in terms of "What is the precise degree of
> > ludicrousness involved in the thought of my ever getting a cent from
> > Social Security?" and shifted to "When do I need to do something if I
> > want to do it before the Singularity?"
> I have trouble debating the whole argument. What's your *conservative*
> estimate of when you need to finish up any major projects if they should be
> done before the singularity? What if you felt as strongly as Eliezer does
> that it's crucial that you win the race?

If I felt that strongly that it was critical I "win the race" or that
the SI comes first and has certain characteristics then I would be out
actively recruiting and sharing more working plans and projects. So
far, I haven't seen this. A project of this magnitude that is
supposedly going to deliver this major a result in a mere 7 years really
needs this level of information flow if it is to be counted on. I am a
software engineer. So I look for the engineering when I hear
projections like this.

- samantha

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