No Picture
AI Timelines

Metabolic Estimates of Rate of Cortical Firing

Cortical neurons are estimated to spike around 0.16 times per second, based on the amount of energy consumed by the human neocortex. They seem unlikely to spike much more than once per second on average, based on this

Blog

Preliminary prices for human-level hardware

Computer hardware has been getting cheap now for about seventy five years. Relatedly, large computing projects can afford to be increasingly large. If you think the human brain is something like a really impressive computer, then a

No Picture
AI Timelines

Current FLOPS prices

In November 2017, we estimate the price for one GFLOPS to be between $0.03 and $3 for single or double precision performance, using GPUs (therefore excluding some applications). Amortized over three years, this is $3.4 x

No Picture
AI Timelines

The cost of TEPS

A billion Traversed Edges Per Second (a GTEPS) can be bought for around $0.26/hour via a powerful supercomputer, including hardware and energy costs only. We do not know if GTEPS can be bought more cheaply elsewhere. We estimate that

No Picture
AI Timelines

Allen, The Singularity Isn’t Near

The Singularity Isn’t Near is an article in MIT Technology Review by Paul Allen which argues that a singularity brought about by super-human-level AI will not arrive by 2045 (as is predicted by Kurzweil). The summarized argument

No Picture
AI Timelines

Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near

The Singularity Is Near is a book by Ray Kurzweil. It argues that a technological singularity will occur in around 2045. This appears to be largely based on extrapolation from hardware in combination with a guess for how

No Picture
AI Timelines

Wikipedia history of GFLOPS costs

This is a list from Wikipedia, showing hardware configurations that authors claim perform efficiently, along with their prices per GFLOPS at different times in recent history. In it, prices generally fall at around an order of magnitude every five years, and

No Picture
AI Timelines

Trends in the cost of computing

Computing power available per dollar has probably increased by a factor of ten roughly every four years over the last quarter of a century (measured in FLOPS or MIPS). Over the past 6-8 years, the rate has been slower:

Blog

What’s up with nuclear weapons?

When nuclear weapons were first built, the explosive power you could extract from a tonne of explosive skyrocketed. But why? Here’s a guess. Until nuclear weapons, explosives were based on chemical reactions. Whereas nuclear weapons are based on nuclear

No Picture
Research problems

Possible Empirical Investigations

In the course of our work, we have noticed a number of empirical questions which bear on our forecasts and might be (relatively) cheap to resolve. In the future we hope to address some of