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Monday, January 08, 2007

Long Bets: Accountable Predictions

Long Bets is an online record of “put your money where your mouth is” statements. It was founded by a group of futurists, including the likes of Kevin Kelly, one of the founders of Wired Magazine. The minimum timeframe for an outlook is two years, and authors are identified by their true identities—so these guys must be pretty confident in their predictions. Another key stipulation is that predictions must be societally or scientifically significant.

Some examples:

  • By 2050 no synthetic computer nor machine intelligence will have become truly self-aware (ie. will become conscious).

  • By the year 2020, the tickets to space travel - at the least to Moon, will be available over the counter.

  • By 2025 at least 50% of all U.S. citizens residing within the United States will have some form of technology embedded in their bodies for the purpose of tracking and identification.

Long Bets works as a nice collector of opinions of a variety of motivated thinkers, and, while totally unscientific, it creates a nice pulse for this audience. Each of the predictions is up for agree-disagree voting, and if you want to up the ante, they can be bet upon ($200 minimum, but most are in the thousands).

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