How my predictions are faring — an update by Ray Kurzweil

October 1, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

How My Predictions Are Faring | Overview

In this essay I review the accuracy of my predictions going back a quarter of a century. Included herein is a discussion of my predictions from The Age of Intelligent Machines (which I wrote in the 1980s), all 147 predictions for 2009 in The Age of Spiritual Machines (which I wrote in the 1990s), plus others.

Perhaps my most important predictions are implicit in my exponential graphs. These trajectories have indeed continued on course and I discuss these updated graphs below.

My core thesis, which I call the law of accelerating returns, is that fundamental measures of information technology follow predictable and exponential trajectories, belying the conventional wisdom that you can’t predict the future.

There are still many things — which project, company or technical standard will prevail in the marketplace, or when peace will come to the Middle East — that remain unpredictable, but the underlying price/performance and capacity of information is nonetheless remarkably predictable. Surprisingly, these trends are unperturbed by conditions such as war or peace and prosperity or recession.

— Ray Kurzweil

Please download Ray Kurzweil’s full paper “How My Predictions Are Faring” (pdf) here.