John C. Mather on 2015

This AI Prediction was made by John C. Mather in 2015.


Predicted time for AGI / HLMI / transformative AI:

(Hover for explanation)Types of advanced artificial intelligence: AGI (AI that can perform many tasks at a human-level), HLMI (more advanced AI that surpasses human intelligence in specific areas), and Transformative AI (AI that could significantly impact society and the world)

So far we have found no law of nature forbidding true general artificial intelligence, so I think it will happen, and fairly soon, given the trillions of dollars worldwide being invested in electronic hardware, and the trillions of dollars of potential business available for the winners.



Opinion about the Intelligence Explosion from John C. Mather:

They could happen very fast, so fast that great empires fall and others grow to replace them, without much time for people to adjust their lives to the new reality. I don’t know who would be smart enough and imaginative enough to keep the genie under control, because it’s not just machines we might need to control, it’s the unlimited opportunity (and payoff) for human-directed mischief.


Flycer’s explanation for better understanding:

The author believes that true general artificial intelligence will happen soon due to the large investments being made in electronic hardware and potential business opportunities. The rapid development of AI could lead to major societal changes and the need for control over human-directed mischief. The author is unsure who would be capable of controlling the potential consequences of AI.



The future of humanity with AGI / HLMI / transformative AI:

It’s going to be a wild ride, far beyond our best and worst imaginations. Barring warp drive, it may be the only possible way to a galactic-scale civilization, and we might be the only ones here in the Milky Way capable of making it happen. But we might not survive the encounter with alien intelligences we create.


Flycer’s Secondary Explanation:

The journey towards a galactic-scale civilization is going to be unpredictable and beyond our imagination. It may be the only way to achieve this level of civilization, but it also poses a risk of encountering dangerous alien intelligences. We may be the only ones in the Milky Way capable of achieving this, but it comes with potential consequences.




John C. Mather is an American astrophysicist and cosmologist who was born on August 7, 1946, in Roanoke, Virginia. He is best known for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, which provided evidence for the Big Bang theory of the universe’s origin.Mather received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Swarthmore College in 1968 and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1974. He then joined the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he worked on the COBE project.In 1992, Mather and his team announced the discovery of small temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background radiation, which provided strong evidence for the Big Bang theory. For this work, Mather was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006, along with his COBE colleague George Smoot.Mather has also been involved in other space missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. He has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to astrophysics and cosmology, including the National Medal of Science in 2002 and the Gruber Prize in Cosmology in 2006.In addition to his research, Mather is also a passionate advocate for science education and outreach. He has written several books and articles aimed at making science accessible to the general public and has given numerous talks and presentations on the importance of science and technology in society.









Keywords: artificial intelligence, investment, control