Median Group

Current Research

Modeling AI progress through insights

This interactive model calculates the time it would take to reach the cumulation of all AI research, based on a guess at what percentage of AI discoveries have been made. The model relies on a dataset of previous AI discoveries that suggests that the rate of such discoveries has been linear since the invention of the electronic computer.

Early partial draft

Declining prices for solar energy capture and storage technologies herald the end of international petrochemical trade value within the next decade. The following brief period of transition, in which petrochemicals are commercially devalued but still strategically valuable for military purposes, will destabilize states whose revenues are dependent on petrochemical sales; and such destabilization may lead such states to pursue regional or global conflict to maintain their sovereignty and quality of life. This forthcoming paper examines the historical context, technological trends, and political incentives that will characterize this period, and what might be done to avert the most destructive outcomes.

Forecasting Forest Fires

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A proposal for improved forest fire prediction.

Upcoming Research

Hymenoptera simulation

This project is a synthesis of research on cognitive and behavioral abilities of hymenopteran insects, integrating existing empirical research in order to generate a template for the capabilities that an AI would need in order to effectively model insect behavior. This will also include projections of the time-frame within which an AI with such capabilities could be produced, if indeed current methodology is adequate for this goal. Previous work in this area has concentrated on replicating specific insect abilities in isolation from one another, and there is a need for work delineating the computational requirements for simulating the integrated behavioral schema of an advanced social insect, such as the honeybee.

Conditions for intellectual progress

We plan to examine the impact of organizational structures on technical and scientific progress, with a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries, to better understand what circumstances allow for the development and prudent use of new technologies that significantly benefit humanity. The work will focus in particular on methods of organizing intellectual progress that were novel for their time (such as the Macy cybernetics conferences) and their impacts on more traditional, formal structures.