The data forming the background of my analysis of AI timeline predictions is now available online. Many thanks to Jonathan Wang and Brian Potter, who gathered the data, to Kaj Sotala, who analysed and categorised it, and to Luke Muehlhauser and the Singularity Institute, who commissioned and paid for it.
I encourage people to produce their own estimate of the "median date"! If you do so, you should use the second database (the one without my estimates). And you should decide in advance what kind of criteria you are going to use to compute this median, or whether you are going to reuse my criteria. And finally you should inform me or the world in general of your values, whether they are very similar or very different to mine.
My criteria were:
- When a range was given, I took the mid-point of that range (rounded down). If a year was given with a 50% likelihood estimate, I took that year. If it was the collection of a variety of expert opinions, I took the prediction of the median expert. If the author predicted some sort of AI by a given date (partial AI or superintelligent AI), and gave no other estimate, I took that date as their estimate rather than trying to correct it in one direction or the other (there were roughly the same number of subhuman AIs as suphuman AIs in the list, and not that many of either). I read extracts of the papers to make judgement calls when interpreting problematic statements like "within thirty years" or "during this century" (is that a range or an end-date?). I never chose a date other than one actually predicted, or the midpoint of a range.
Incidentally, you may notice that a certain Stuart Armstrong is included in the list, for a prediction I made back in 2007 (for AI in 2207). Yes, I counted that prediction in my analysis (as a non-expert prediction), and no, I don't stand by that date today.