Maes–Garreau law

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The Maes–Garreau law is the statement that "most favorable predictions about future technology will fall within the Maes–Garreau point", defined as "the latest possible date a prediction can come true and still remain in the lifetime of the person making it".[1] Specifically, it relates to predictions of a technological singularity or other radical future technologies.[1]

It has been referred to as a "law of human nature",[2] although Kelly's evidence is anecdotal.

The Maes–Garreau effect is contradicted by analysis of a much larger set of AI predictions of 95 predictions extracted from a database of 257 AI predictions, which finds a broad array of estimates before and after a predictor's estimated longevity.[3]

Origin of the law[edit]

Kevin Kelly, editor of Wired magazine, created the law in 2007 after being influenced by Pattie Maes at MIT and Joel Garreau (author of Radical Evolution).[1]

In 1993, Maes listed a number of her colleagues at MIT that had publicly predicted mind uploading (the replication of a human brain on a computer), and noted that the innovations were generally slated to occur within the lifetime of the predictor.


  1. ^ a b c Kevin Kelly: The Maes–Garreau Point March 14, 2007
  2. ^ Michael Marshall, Five laws of human nature, New Scientist, 17 December 2009
  3. ^ "How We're Predicting AI—or Failing to", Armstrong & Sotala 2012