John von Neumann on 1958

This AI Prediction was made by John von Neumann in 1958.


Predicted time for AGI / HLMI / transformative AI:




Opinion about the Intelligence Explosion from John von Neumann:



Flycer’s explanation for better understanding:




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

One conversation centered on the ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue


Flycer’s Secondary Explanation:

Technology is progressing rapidly, leading to changes in the way humans live. This could lead to a singularity in human history, beyond which our current affairs would no longer be recognizable. This could have a huge impact on the future of humanity.




When looking at von Neumann’s research accomplishments, one is struck by the vast breadth and depth of his achievements. He made substantial contributions to both theoretical and practical fields, and was among the first to recognize the potential of computers for technological revolution, as well as prediction and control of the environment. Von Neumann possessed a rare combination of abilities and wide-ranging interests, which enabled him to absorb, organize, retain, and use large quantities of information. He was an applied mathematician par excellence, familiar with the problems of natural and engineering sciences, as well as the abstract methods of pure mathematics.Given his background and type of mind, it was natural for von Neumann to construct a general theory of computers. He sought a theory that would cover both natural and artificial systems, language and information in such systems, and the programming and control of such systems. He called this proposed systematic theory “the theory of automata”. Von Neumann’s early work on computer design and programming led him to recognize the strong role of mathematical logic in the new theory of automata. However, he believed that a new logic of automata would arise, which would strongly resemble and interconnect with probability theory, thermodynamics, and information theory.Unfortunately, due to his premature death, von Neumann was unable to put his research on automata theory in final form. Nevertheless, he outlined the general nature of automata theory, began a comparative study of artificial and natural automata, and formulated and partially answered two basic questions of automata theory: How can reliable systems be constructed from unreliable components? What kind of logical organization is sufficient for an automaton to be able to reproduce itself? These questions may have arisen out of von Neumann’s work with computers, as he was interested in solving non-linear partial differential equations and desired ever more powerful machines.Von Neumann’s theory of automata is highly interdisciplinary and will require a new logic of automata to be developed. While imperfectly articulated and hardly formalized, his accomplishments in this area were substantial and have paved the way for further research in automata theory.




Keywords: Technology, Human Life, Singularity