Were nuclear weapons cost-effective explosives?

Nuclear weapons were radically more powerful per pound than any previous bomb. Their appearance was a massive discontinuity in the long-run path of explosive progress, that we have lately discussed. But why do we measure energy


A summary of AI surveys

If you want to know when human-level AI will be developed, a natural approach is to ask someone who works on developing AI. You might however be put off by such predictions being regularly criticized as inaccurate and biased. While they do seem


AI and the Big Nuclear Discontinuity

As we’ve discussed before, the advent of nuclear weapons was a striking technological discontinuity in the effectiveness of explosives. In 1940, no one had ever made an explosive twice as effective as TNT. By 1945 the best

First nuclear reaction

The Biggest Technological Leaps

Over thousands of years, humans became better at producing explosions. A weight of explosive that would have blown up a tree stump in the year 800 could have blown up more than three tree stumps in

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The AI Impacts Blog

Welcome to the AI Impacts blog.  AI Impacts is premised on two ideas (at least!): The details of the arrival of human-level artificial intelligence matter Seven years to prepare is very different from seventy years to prepare. A weeklong