Vardi says, “The world in 50 years…either will be a utopia or a dystopia.” But history is littered with dystopic and utopian visions, even as the world has consistently muddled along the middle path.
Here is my response: I think the past can in some cases be instructive, but merely because something happened in the past this does not mean it will always happen. For example repeated failures at curing cancer could lead people to think cancer will always be incurable. Likewise regarding mortality, people could assume humans will always be mortal but very likely after all the years of effort cancer will be cured and immortality will be achieved via total mastery of human biology.
I think we are reaching a culmination point regarding human knowledge, where contrary to past stumbling blocks, which entailed a mere muddling along down the middle road, we will instead achieve extreme mastery thus utopia will ensue.
Nothing is truly certain but as certain as anything can be I think utopia is certain 50 years from now, I think utopia will be achieved no later than 2045.
Alexander Kruel is another person who allowed me to discover a good intellectual titbit worthy of a response. I follow Alex's stream on G+ where he included the following excerpt from a recent MIRI page:
"We can’t be confident AI will come in the next 30 years, and we can’t be confident it’ll take more than 100 years, and anyone who is confident of either claim is pretending to know too much."
I can confidently state, based upon various precursors and via looking at the rate of technological progress, human-level AI will be created no later than 2045. I think the actual date could be sometime around 2035, or even 2030, which is only 17 years away. Definitely no later than 2045. Furthermore if human-level AI is created as late as 2045 I think the evolution will be very rapid, a very hard take-off, although at any point the evolution will be explosive, my point is it will be a tad more so if AI is a later-bloomer.
MIRI's mention of 30 and 100 years caused me to think about posterity issues, the historic viewpoint. It is messy-unclear to state in "100 years." It is much better to use actual dates because it may not always be clear at what time-point the 100 year proclamation was made, which means 100 years is always 100 years away. There is a NASA page which has this problem. On 17th May 2013 the NASA page in question states space colonization could be a reality in 50 years but there is no date on the page regarding when that statement of 50 years was made, thus for the past three years, during which I have been aware of the page, there has been no progress towards space colonisation if we consider a 50 year date forever 50 years away. I actually suspect the NASA page in question was created in the year 2000, thus for the past 13 years space colonisation has always been 50 years away, and for all eternity, based upon the page in question, space colonisation will be 50 years away. The NASA page I mention does have a date regarding when it was last updated but there is no original creation date for the page. A recent update to the NASA page mentions how the page is an "introduction to the ideas developed in the Stanford/NASA Ames space settlement studies of the 1970s." So, does this mean the "50 years" relate to statements made in the 1970s? Does this mean, regarding "the first orbital colony to be built within about 50 years," we could have an orbital colony in the 2020s? People really need to start mentioning actual dates, for example 2045, instead of saying 10, 20, 30, 50, 100, or 1,000 years away.