Friday, March 18, 2011

"Solar: Kurzweil Sees Energy Need Met In 16 Years"

We also have "Ray Kurzweil: Cost Competitive Solar Within Five Years" from June 2008. I don't think Ray's going to make it by 2013.

Last week I said, en passant, "The current McKinsey Quarterly has an interview with Ray Kurzweil, arguably one of the slipperiest prognosticators currently predicting. On the other hand the McKinsey folks I've met told good jokes."

Be that as it may be, here's Tech Trader Daily:

Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil was the subject of a brief interview at the Big Think blog late yesterday, in which the editors write that Kurzweil projects solar energy will be able to meet all the world’s energy needs in 16 years from now.

Kurzweil cites the dramatic improvement curve of nanotechnology used in solar panels, and predicts it will take “eight doublings” of the technology to meet energy demand through solar....MORE
With two interviews within a week I should have checked to see if Mr. K. has a new book coming out.
Here is some of the back-and-forth on Mr. Kurzweil's predictions. In 2010 he said he was batting 102 of 108 which raises the question: Is he predicting the inevitable?
A simple example would be "smaller computers". A prognosticator doesn't get any points from me on that type of prediction.

First up, the brainiacs at IEEE Spectrum:
Ray Kurzweil's Slippery Futurism

Techi's headline is:
Ray Kurzweil's Tech Predictions Have Been Eerily Accurate

Kurzweil fans SingularityHub write:
Kurzweil Defends Predictions for 2009, Says He is 102 for 108.

Finally, Next Big Future has a response from Ray and an update from a skeptic:
Ray Kurzweil Responds to the Issue of Accuracy of His Predictions
Update: Ray Kurzweil’s January 17th, 2010 response to this is posted below my initial post. He said, “your review is biased, incorrect, and misleading in many different ways”....
More than you cared to know?