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The slow traversal of ‘human-level’

Once you have normal-human-level AI, how long does it take to get Einstein-level AI? We have seen that a common argument for ‘not long at all’ based on brain size does not work in a straightforward way, though a

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Making or breaking a thinking machine

Here is a superficially plausible argument: the brains of the slowest humans are almost identical to those of the smartest humans. And thus—in the great space of possible intelligence—the ‘human-level’ band must be very narrow. Since all humans are basically identical in

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Are AI surveys seeing the inside view?

An interesting thing about the survey data on timelines to human-level AI is the apparent incongruity between answers to ‘when will human-level AI arrive?’ and answers to ‘how much of the way to human-level AI have we come recently?‘ In particular, human-level AI

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Event: Multipolar AI workshop with Robin Hanson

On Monday 26 January we will be holding a discussion on promising research projects relating to ‘multipolar‘ AI scenarios. That is, future scenarios where society persists in containing a large number of similarly influential agents, rather than a single winner who takes all. The

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Michie and overoptimism

We recently wrote about Donald Michie’s survey on timelines to human-level AI. Michie’s survey is especially interesting because it was taken in 1972, which is three decades earlier than any other surveys we know of that ask about human-level AI.

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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

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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

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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

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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

Jan 09 2015 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