Well, well, another year is drawing to a close. That means it’s once again time to review what has happened and where things are going.
It’s been a very eventful year for me, both personally and on the work front. I keep my personal life off this blog, and as for work… um, significant things are happening but I’m not ready to talk about them yet Thus, I’ll just stick to my general predictions this time around.
First of all, my set of predictions for the teenies. We’re only 1 year in so it’s not surprising that I’m still pretty comfortable with the predictions I’ve made. The only tweak I’ll make is that over the last year I’ve become slightly more confident that we’ll have a decent understanding of how cortex works before the end of the decade. That’s my only update.
My longest running prediction, since 1999, has been the time until roughly human level AGI. It’s been consistent since then, though last year I decided to clarify things a bit and put down an actual distribution and some parameters. Basically, I gave it a log-normal distribution with a mean of 2028, and a mode of 2025. Over the last year computer power has increased as expected, and so it looks like we’re still on target to have supercomputers with 10^18 FLOPS around 2018. In terms of neuroscience and machine learning, I think things are progressing well, maybe a little faster than I’d expected. I was toying with the idea of moving the prediction very slightly closer, but decided to play it safe and keep the prediction unmoved at 2028. With many people thinking I’m too optimistic, showing restraint is perhaps wise I can always move my prediction nearer in a year or two.
One thing I screwed up last year was the 90% credibility region. Going by a log-normal CDF for my predicted mean and mode that David McFadzean did (see bottom of this page) the upper end should be a bit higher at 2045, i.e. at a CDF of 0.95. It seems that I got the lower end right, however, as the CDF is about 0.05 at 2018. With 5% at each end, that gives the 90% interval.