The Performance Curve Database at the Santa Fe Institute

Performance Curve Data Base

Bela Nagy is working at the Santa Fe Institute on a project called the Performance Curve Data Base, which collects datasets concerning the evolution of technology, including performance metrics, production volumes, and other economic indicators. Bela calls his approach Quantitative Futurism, and applies techniques of hindcasting, starting from a point in the past, with the data available at that time, and checking if the forecast towards the present time matches what has actually been observed. The project is free, and open, and allows the downloading and uploading of datasets.

These Performance Curves look similar to some formulations of Moore’s Law, or to the curves found in Ray Kurzweil’s “Singularity Is Near“; however, they also allow more flexible visualizations by utilizing more variables, and assigning uncertainty bounds to the forecasts is under development, similar to the Singularity Institute’s Uncertain Future project.

Here is a video where Bela explains the project:

Bela will speak at the Singularity Summit 09 in New York, presenting the Performance Curve Database project, and his findings.

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