Assessing Kurzweil's 1999 predictions for 2019

by Stuart_Armstrong1 min read8th Apr 20209 comments

37

World Modeling
Frontpage

Thanks everyone who volunteered! No longer accepting new volunteers now.

Results coming soon.

First of all, I want to thank all the volunteers who agreed to do this assessment. It's important to check the track record, especially in a period when expert predictions are so important and so debated. If you have any questions, add a comment here or PM me on LessWrong.

Logistics:

  • Go to this Google form (asking for your name/pseudonym and email) and I will send you a TSV (tab-separated values) file with all 105 questions in random order.
  • If you don't want to share your email with me, or share it on a Google form, send me a PM on LessWrong and we'll see what else we can do.

Assessment:

  • For each prediction, please answer on a five point scale: 1=True, 2=Weakly True, 3=Cannot decide, 4=Weakly False, 5=False. Use your intuitive assessment of Kurzweil's words if there is ambiguity in them.
  • Use your best estimate for the accuracy of the prediction only; do not consider how specific or trivial the prediction is. "People will breath oxygen" is true; "there will be a major pandemic in 2018, driving people to quarantine and crashing economies and stock markets" is false or weakly false, because of the specific date. If it said "around 2018", then it would be true or weakly true.
  • The prediction is true if it was true in 2019; thus, ignore any recent effects of COVID-19.

Procedure:

  • Do predictions on the .tsv file I sent you, adding another column.
  • Do them in the order of that file, starting from the top.
  • Try and attempt at least 10 predictions.
  • Some predictions start with a piece in square brackets []. This is to provide context for the prediction. Ignore it when assessing the accuracy.
  • I'll include the ordered list of predictions as a PDF. Use this if you need yet more context on the prediction.
  • Once you're done, send me the file back, and I will acknowledge receiving it. If you don't get an acknowledgement in the next two working days, ping me to see if I got it.

Cheers!

37