March 13, 2014

Simulating the arrival of emulations

A small working paper about when to expect brain emulations: Monte Carlo model of brain emulation development

The model is simple, but produces a some useful predictions. The main one is not where the peak is - sure, everybody will quote me on it, but it is fairly dependent on your assumptions about the brain. Similarly the probability of failing to ever get WBE because computing power falls short depends a lot on brain assumptions and what Moore's law scenario one gets.

What I think is important is that we can go from a world where WBE has a very low chance of happening to a world with a high chance in just 20 years. If we get WBE from a breakthrough in scanning or neuroscience rather than hardware improvements allowing us to scale up small animal brain simulations, then there is room for an impressive overshoot where a lot of copies or very fast emulations become suddenly possible.

Perhaps most important is that different viewers can insert their own assumptions into the model and explore their consequences. We can update it as new data arrives, and get scenario distributions for the future. That will help us figure out where we are in relation to the emergence of WBE.

Posted by Anders3 at March 13, 2014 05:04 PM