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August 17, 2007

Gram quantities of diamondoid particles

From Foresight's nanodot, MolecularDiamondTechnologies a business unit of Chevron technology ventures, can produce gram quantities of higher diamondoid. These are not molecularly precise diamondoid and it does not involve mechanosynthesis.

This seems likely to be very interesting and useful in the pre-mechanosynthesis phase. We have Chemical Vapor deposition for growing large multi-carat diamonds and diamond films and there are processes for making industrial diamond.

With more precise analysis of the processes hopefully this diamondoid particle production process can be scaled to tons of material instead of grams. Still even with gram quantities, if the diamondoids were sorted then possibly they could used to help bootstrap a more precise diamondoid manipulator. They could be combined with Atomic layer deposition and more precise self assembly.

These higher diamondoids contain from four to eleven diamond crystal cages and are ~1 to 2 nm in size. Higher diamondoid structures are remarkably rigid, extremely strong, and heat resistant, have a variety of nm sizes and shapes, and should be tremendously useful to many aspects of nanotechnology, including nanomaterials. In fact, nanometer-sized diamond structures have long been recognized as prized materials for such applications. We envision, for example, potential applications in the microelectronics, pharmaceutical, and optics industries resulting from higher diamondoids. MolecularDiamondTechnologies are focused on finding the right applications for higher diamondoids, and they are confident that numerous potential applications already exist and will become apparent in the next year or two.

Higher diamondoids occur naturally in petroleum deposits, and we first discovered them by accident while examining certain residues clogging our production equipment.

During the past few years, we have done extensive research on the processing of diamondoids, and we are increasingly disclosing this research. We currently know how to produce higher diamondoids, and mass-production would primarily involve enriching them, removing non-diamondoid deposits, and isolations of individual structures to high purity. We use distillation and hydroprocessing, skills that are core technologies in oil companies. We can currently produce quantities of higher diamondoids sufficient for research purposes, but we are confident that we can scale-up production as needed.

We can derivatize them and bond them to other molecules and to surfaces. They are diamond molecules, but in many ways are more versatile than diamond in such applications. So they are highly customizable. In the pharmaceutical field, diamondoids could enable a new level of precision in drug design, they could prove useful to combinatorial drug discovery, and they could also improve diagnostic techniques. In the nanomaterials realm, they should facilitate the creation of new surface films and coatings with various applications. For microelectronics, higher diamondoids could enable nanometer-scale components, sensors, and field emission devices.

We are currently producing gram quantities of higher diamondoids, which is adequate for research purposes. We could easily produce tens or hundreds of grams of higher diamondoids for product development. We can produce sufficient material both for research and for any product development needs. We anticipate that products incorporating higher diamondoids will be high-value products, and won’t require huge quantities of the diamond molecules. Regarding cost, we are currently producing small enough quantities that cost isn’t much of a factor. However, we can envision many ways to improve production and considerably decrease costs.

Phase I human trials of SRT501begun - supercharged Resveratrol

This past spring 2007, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals launched phase I human trials of SRT501 in patients with diabetes;

it also plans human trials later in 2007 to test the drug as a treatment for Melas syndrome, a rare disorder that hastens aging and causes fatal deterioration of the brain and muscles. Sirtris expects to begin human trials of its non-resveratrol compounds in the first half of 2008.

In 2004 it took David Sinclaier, 38-year-old Harvard University professor of pathology, a single lunch meeting to persuade California philanthropist Paul Glenn to put up $5 million for a new Harvard institute on aging, of which Sinclair is now a director. Sinclair also cofounded Sirtris Pharmaceuticals to develop drugs based on resveratrol and helped persuade an A-list of venture investors to pony up $103 million in private funding. In late May, 2007, the company made an initial public offering that netted $62 million more.

They showed that mice on a high-fat diet fed large doses of resveratrol were as healthy as mice on a regular diet. Resveratrol also improved the mice's insulin sensitivity and increased their energy production.

Sinclair's and Auwerx's success in extending the life span and improving the health of mice has partly assuaged critics' doubts that resveratrol can work in mammals.

"This will impact humans within a decade," Sinclair says. "That's why I don't think there is anything more important than this quest. That's why I take chances, and why the controversy is worth it: because I think we are right."

Nuclear reactor steam can lower the cost of ethanol

Steam from nuclear plants could find a significant market by using it for ethanol production

Researchers and engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the US Department of Energy are suggesting using the steam from existing nuclear power plants in the Corn Belt to reduce the costs of producing ethanol from corn and other biomass

There is one economic limitation, however. The cost of the corn delivered to a fuel ethanol plant is strongly dependent upon the cost of transporting the corn from the farm. The only nuclear reactors that can economically provide steam for this application are in the Corn Belt, along the Mississippi River or other waterways where cheap barge transportation is available, or where there is a demand for the by-products of ethanol production.

For a large ethanol plant producing 100 million gallons of fuel ethanol per year, about 80 MWt of steam is required, which represents a potential market for 150-psi (about 180 °C) steam from existing light-water nuclear power plants. This low-temperature steam is of lower value for electricity production, but it could significantly improve ethanol economics, create an expanded market for nuclear energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce foreign oil imports.

For about a decade, steam produced by the Bruce nuclear power station in Ontario was used for ethanol production. Plants in Switzerland and Russia produce both electricity and district heat.

The steam from nuclear reactors has been used for district heating (45 reactors), desalination (10 reactors), and industrial uses (25 reactors). Coproduced steam, however, has never been a major product of nuclear reactors for two reasons: (1) There are few customers near rural nuclear plant sites, and (2) most of the markets for steam are so small as to not be worth the complications of coproducing steam and electricity. The production of fuel ethanol from corn today, and the future production of fuel ethanol from other forms of biomass, change this. The need is for large quantities of steam in rural areas—the same areas in which nuclear power plants are located.

Based on the price of electricity, the cost of low temperature steam from a nuclear power plant is about half the cost of steam from natural gas. Last, ethanol plants traditionally operate at constant production but have the potential to shift some of the steam demand to nighttime. The largest use of energy in the ethanol production process is for distillation, which must operate at steady state. However, the energy demand for drying the animal feed by-products could potentially be shifted to nighttime.

A goal of the U.S. government is to displace 30 percent of the nation’s gasoline
use by 2030, initially by using corn, and then cellulose, for the production of
ethanol. That is an extraordinary challenge that requires increasing ethanol production by more than an order of magnitude. For this scale of operation, the total steam demand at a few hundred plants would be tens of gigawatts.

Personal Air vehicle, Dayjet air taxi and ecodriving coach

Nasa crowns a Personal Air Vehicle prize winner


Pipistral Virus is a 50mpg two seater plane that costs $70,000.

Dayjet, air taxi service, is nearing a soft launch


Eclipse 500

By Aug 21, 2007, Dayjet will have 11 jets. They are close to launching the first per-seat, on-demand air-taxi operation. before DayJet can fly passengers, first it must conduct proving runs--to satisfy the Federal Aviation Administration. After the FAA approves this process, DayJet's EA-500s will be added to the company's air carrier certificate. "We expect to fly passengers at the end of August or the beginning of September," he said. "As we'll do a soft launch for now, we'll have a grand opening later--maybe in September.

Six passengers, max cruising speed of 375 knots, range of 1,280 nautical miles,, gets 11 mpg, and costs less than $200/hr to operate.




$99 digital fuel mizer

Aggressive Driving vs. Moderate Driving
Result: Major savings potential
The Cold Hard Facts: Up to 37 percent savings, average savings of 31 percent
Recommendation: Stop driving like a maniac. The fuel mizer device can help be your coach and provide feedback so that you can become a mroe fuel efficient driver.

August 16, 2007

Cars that are more fuel efficient than the Prius

There cars in Europe with higher gas mileage than the Toyota Prius. They have not been introduced in the USA because of diesel emission laws in the USA. Diesel emissions are improving so we may see these cars in a few years even in the USA, especially if oil prices continue to climb.

UPDATE: My december, 2007 electric vehicle news roundup has info on reserving an Aptera for October 2008 or converting a Toyota Prius or other vehicle into a plug in hybrid now.


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Under the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) current fuel economy procedure, the Prius, rated at 48 mpg–U.S. (4.9 L/100 km / 57.7 mpg–imp) in city driving, and 45 mpg–U.S. (5.23 L/100 km / 54 mpg–imp) on the highway,[1] is the most economical car sold in the U.S.[2] Under the EPA's old system the Prius achieved 60 mpg–U.S. (3.92 L/100 km / 72.1 mpg–imp) in city driving, and 51 mpg–U.S. (4.61 L/100 km / 61.3 mpg–imp) on the highway


The highest fuel efficient production car of 2009 will probably be the VW 1 liter car with 235 miles per US gallon Announcement of 2009 production


the Volkswagon 1 liter car, 0.99 litres per 100 kilometres


Volkswagon 1 liter with door open

More specifications are at supercar.net

The carbon-fibre-reinforced outer skin is tensioned over a spaceframe that is not made of aluminium, but rather of magnesium. The 1-litre car is powered by a one-cylinder diesel engine, centrally positioned in front of the rear axle and combined with an automated direct shift gearbox. The crankcase and cylinder head of the 0.3-litre engine are of an aluminium monobloc construction. The naturally aspirated, direct-injection diesel engine employs advanced high-pressure unit injection technology to generate 6.3 kW (8.5 bhp) at 4,000 rpm. This gives the vehicle, which weights just 290 kg, an astonishingly lively temperament.

The interior is sportingly simple in design, yet offers enough space for two people, who can comfortably get in after folding back the turret-like gullwing door. An extremely lightweight construction has also been employed for the seats. The seat frames are made of magnesium, and firm, yet comfortable fabric covers are used instead of a classic upholstery.

Despite the lightweight construction of all components, safety has been a major element in all phases of the development of the 1-litre car. For example, the concept vehicle's safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, ESP electronic stability program and a driver's airbag. Deformation elements at the front end and the spaceframe construction provide impact and roll-over protection comparable to that of a GT racing car.



The highest mileage production cars now are

Volkswagon Lupo at 78 mpg.

Smart Fortwo, 69mpg for the diesel vs 50mpg for the regular gas


Mercedes-Benz new smart fortwo cdi – an 1800 pound, 106 inch long car with a top speed of 85 mph – gets nearly 80 mpg.

there are also Electric battery powered cars

Of the 200+ million cars in the USA, in 2004 there were 55,852 electric cars. There are about 300,000 Pruis hybrid cars.

Another potential high mileage car for 2009 is the Lorema diesel. This German car maker claims a fuel economy of 157 mpg. Weighing less than a thousand pounds, the sporty rear-wheel drive 4-seater is designed to be maximally aerodynamic. They also shooting for a price tag of about $13,000 (11,000 euros).


Loremo Diesel


The 173mpg three wheeled Vespa

Cars with a little less mileage than the Prius but which are still darn cool

The 2008 50-55mpg four seat Honda Fit
With seats that fold all the way down it has 41 cubic feet of storage. As much as many SUVs when they still have the second row of seats up.


The 7 seat 47mpg minivan Estima only in Japan

These kind of cars could be part of relatively minor policy shifts which could halve the amount of gasoline that the USA uses for cars. Some peak oil people talk about using a highway lane for bicycles only. A good way to multiply highway deaths from 44,000/year to several times more. Allow european and japanese diesel cars into the USA. Seems like a less drastic step. We might even get people to shift over to these cars enmasse without draconian measures...just good marketing and $5-8+/gallon gas.
44% of Europe's cars are diesel and some tax code tweaks.

By 2020, half of the US cars could be 100mpg+ using hybrids, plug in hybrids, high mpg diesel and electric cars. Use financial measures to encourage scrapping, recycling and retiring vehicles sooner. Tax writoffs and favorable tax treatment to get people to recycle gas guzzlers and get them off the road. Allow accelerated depreciation. Financial measures and other incentives and maybe we can get to 70% could be 100mpg+ by 2020. Fuel usage could be more than halved for transportation.


If you drive 15000 miles per year, then here is a table of mpg and fuel costs per year:


20mpg 750gallons $2250@$3 $3750@$5 7500@$10 $15000@$20
30mpg 500gallons $1500@$3 $2500@$5 5000@$10 $10000@$20
50mpg 300gallons $ 900@$3 $1500@$5 3000@$10 $ 6000@$20
75mpg 200gallons $ 600@$3 $1000@$5 2000@$10 $ 4000@$20
100mpg 150gallons $ 450@$3 $ 750@$5 1500@$10 $ 3000@$20
150mpg 100gallons $ 300@$3 $ 500@$5 1000@$10 $ 2000@$20
250mpg 60gallons $ 180@$3 $ 300@$5 600@$10 $ 1200@$20
500mpg 30gallons $ 90@$3 $ 150@$5 300@$10 $ 600@$20


According to the American government's own figures, if diesel had a 33 per cent share of cars and pick-ups, the U.S. would reduce its oil consumption by up to 1.4 million barrels of oil per day.

Clean diesel tech should finally breakthrough US emission rules over the 2009-2011 timeframe depending upon manufacturer.

2009 Honda Accord Diesel 52mpg will be able to sell in the USA

The 2007 Toyota Camry is Manual: 24 mpg / 34 mpg
The potential 2 seater in 2009 would have 10 times the mileage.
MSRP $18,470 Invoice$16,898
So if you can afford a Camry then you could afford the 4 seater Lorema diesel in 2009 for 11000 euros. 157mpg


FURTHER READING
Wikipedia on fuel efficiency in transportation Even electric cars only have 260mpg or more with more average occupancy because of the use of fuel from the power plant.

NY Times article discussing the 100mpg Xprize for the first production 100mpg car

In 2004 a Peugeot 307 Touring HDi drove around Australia averaging 1,700 km per 60-liter tank. That’s 3.49 liters of fuel per 100 km, or 81.16 m.p.g.

VW Lupo 3L TDI, which we drove in 2001. Available from 1999 to 2005 in Europe, it was sold with a 78 m.p.g. average and capable of 99 m.p.g. in careful driving. And if you consider the mileage equivalent for electric or fuel cell vehicles, then the Telsa Roadster (135 m.p.g.) and ZAP Xebra (147 m.p.g.) already qualify.

This brings up an important point: although 100 m.p.g. is getting the media hype, the Auto X Prize is actually a race; 100 m.p.g. is just one of the criteria to qualify.
“We’ll hold a qualification race in 2009 and a final race in 2010,” Mr. Anderson said in a follow-up phone interview. “And the competitors with the best overall time in a real world stage that reflects consumer driving patterns (city, start, stop, idle, hill climb, distance — all those types of things) — the competitors that achieve our minimum requirements of 100 m.p.g., etc. with the best time — also highlighting performance — will win the top prize in each class.”



500mpg test car at MIT

Startup Aptera's 330mpg car


Aptera 330mpg car

Tesla motors electric car

China's Flybo and others are making electric cars

DIY self assembled plug in hybrid XR-3 kit car They claim it will be released in 2007.

August 15, 2007

Carnival of Space 16

Welcome to the sixteenth carnival of space. Emily Lakdawalla will be hosting the Carnival of Space next week at: the planetary blog

Submissions are made to CarnivalOfSpace@gmail.com

In this edition we have two articles on asteroids, three on future space plans and visions, three on present day space, three related to astronomy and astronomical phenomena.


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Plans for Deflecting and using asteroids

Paul Gilster of Centauri dreams submits Defending Earth: Two Space-Based Approaches

The post discusses ways to deflect incoming asteroids and examines a recent paper that analyzes space-based response systems stationed at two of the Lagrange points.



Avoid this ... asteroids hitting the earth


Using things like asteroid tractors

Discovery Enterprise, a group blog on exploration, science and science fiction, submits Islands in Space: The Challenge of the Planetoids, the Pioneering Work of Dandridge M. Cole

Alex M. Bonnici looks at the the work of space visionary Dandridge Cole and how he foresaw the utilization of asteroids for space colonies.


Other space future speculations and plans

Mark R. Whittington has his curmedgeon's corner speculates on the next fifty years in space My post for the next carnival of space will be my version of a forecast for 2057 in space.

2007 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Space Age, agreed by most to have begun with the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik, on October 4th, 1957. While some are taking stock of the last fifty years of space exploration, noting what has been accomplished and, more importantly, what has not been accomplished, others are wondering what the next fifty years might bring. And therein lays the problem.



Mars now

Phil B. presents How to Terraform Mars posted at Phil for Humanity.


Chris Reed of Bigelow Aerospace announces Plans for the first human habitable spacecraft, the Sundancer. posted at Bigelow Aerospace


The Bigelow aerospace sundancer

I had discussed the Bigelow plans for 2010 and beyond as well with photos of the planned modules

Present day space (space shuttle, satellite dishes and the ISS)

Kevin Fleming presents How to Mount a Satellite Dish posted at Satellite TV Guru

From Astronomy Down Under talks about
The Shuttle problems with


Damaged shuttle tile

A review of the structures used to launch a space shuttle, and why it keeps being hit by debris every time.



From Cumbrian Sky about How I learned to stop worrying, and love the International Space Station

As yet another space shuttle crew dons space suits to fit yet more pieces to the International Space Station, and its completion date edges a little closer, space enthusiast Stuart Atkinson looks back at his own troubled relationship with the controversial orbital outpost, and wonders what lies in store for Mankind's "gateway to the solar system" in the future...


Astronomy and Astronomical submissions

From A Babe in the Universe a follow up to carnival of space 15 ethereal dark energy about
Why Dark Energy Is Bad For Astronomy?



Spectacular photos from the Hubble Space Telescope show the value of astronomy. Emphasis on the "dark side" is said to undermine the appeal of astrophysics to future generations of scientists and the public at large.


Astroblog bids
Farewell Venus for another Year


The sun and Venus

A meditation on my last glimpse of Venus in the evening, plus a mobile phone shot!


Renata Vincoletto presents Falando pelos Cotovelos - 365 Days of Skywatching posted at Falando pelos Cotovelos.

thanks to Henry Cate of of whyhomeschool for allowing me to host this weeks carnival of space

List of past carnival of space postings

Medical breakthroughs for cancer, MS, autoimmune diseases and stem cells

Studies conducted on mice revealed that when the gene HACE1 was inactivated, spontaneous late-stage cancer developed and when active it stopped cancer

"If we can learn how to reactivate HACE1 or block cancer cells from inactivating this gene, it may be possible to improve treatments for many cancer patients."


Cancer is the number two killer disease after cardiovascular disease, worldwide. Approximately 20 million people have cancer in Japan, Europe and N. America and 10 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year worldwide. According to the American Cancer Society, the second-leading cause of death by disease in the US cancer imposes a heavy economic burden on the country¹s healthcare system. In 1999, the estimated total cost of cancer was $107 billion, including approximately $37 billion in direct healthcare spending.


Cancer rates could further increase by 50% to 15 million new cases in the year 2020, according to the World Cancer Report, the most comprehensive global examination of the disease to date.

the report also provides clear evidence that healthy lifestyles and public health action by governments [getting rid or massively cleaning up coal and oil particulates and pollution and reducing smoking] and health practitioners could stem this trend, and prevent as many as one third of cancers worldwide.

In the year 2000, malignant tumours were responsible for 12 per cent of the nearly 56 million deaths worldwide from all causes [saving one third would be 4% or 2.24 million per year] . In many countries, more than a quarter of deaths are attributable to cancer. In 2000, 5.3 million men and 4.7 million women developed a malignant tumour and altogether 6.2 million died from the disease. The report also reveals that cancer has emerged as a major public health problem in developing countries, matching its effect in industrialized nations.


A DNA vaccine had a successful early trial against multiple sclerosis.

In the trial, the researchers saw the number of lesions fall by 18% to 64% in patients who were given the DNA vaccine alone. The size of the lesions also dropped, by between 38% and 83%. The statin drug did not seem to improve the vaccine's effectiveness.

The researchers were excited by the results, but cautioned against reading too much into the trial's findings. "We have demonstrated in this first, to our knowledge, in-human trial of a DNA vaccine for autoimmune disease that the approach is safe and well-tolerated. We describe evidence for induction of favourable trends on brain MRI, indicating a reduction in the inflammatory response in the central nervous system," they wrote.

The team has now begun a 12-month trial of 290 patients. If that is a success, it could pave the way for DNA vaccines for a range of other diseases caused by an over-active immune system, such as type I diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.


Multiple sclerosis strikes women twice as often as men and afflicts about 400000 Americans and 2.5 million people worldwide. 2 genes have been linked to MS and 2 contribute. It has been identified as an autoimmune disease.

Future pundit discusses how the Wnt protein suppresses stem cell repair as we age

August 14, 2007

Bigelow plans habitable private space station by 2010

The company plans to luanch its Sundancer space station, able to support a crew of three, into orbit by 2010.


Prior plans for the $75 million Sundancer are a 180 cubic meters of habitation, attitude control, orbit maneuverability and three windows to support a crew of three. Bigelow has partnered with Lockheed Martin to use its Atlas V rocket to propel the Sundancer into orbit. The Bigelow Sundancer is not the only space hotel on the books, however, for this company. Bigelow Aeronautics is also working on its Nautilus module, which is reported to be 10-times the size of Genesis I.


Bigelow also has plans for the BA 330, which would have 330 cubic meters of space It is planned for launch in 2012.


An advanced version of the BA330 would be for orbiting around the earth and the moon (cislunar orbit

A competing firm, Galactic Suite based in Barcelona, Spain, is planning a 3 bedroom space hotel in 2012

Optical scanning larger areas at 10-30 nanometer resolution (7 to 20 times better)

The German team that developed the stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscope stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscope is reporting layer-by-layer light microscopic nanoscale images of cells and without having to prepare thin sections with a technique called optical 3D far-field microscopy. They use a chemical marker for fluorescence nanoscopy that relies on single-molecule photoswitching. They report the use of molecules that are not only transferred but can be 'switched' from fluorescent to non-fluorescent and back. They are able to optically scan larger areas (than previous research) at 10-30 nanometer resolution (7 to 20 times better than the 200 nanometer visible light diffraction limit)


3D view of cells with flourescent markers

In contrast to STED, only separate, isolated marker molecules are randomly switched on at the same time. Their fluorescence is registered, and then they get switched off again automatically. In this way, the simultaneously fluorescing (switched on) markers are farther apart from each other than the minimum distance that the microscope can resolve. This is only possible using switchable molecules that emit many photons, one after the other, when switched on. If these photons are captured with a camera, the centers of the individual fluorescing dots can be distinguished. After the exposure, the molecule becomes dark again (switches off), allowing further, neighboring molecules to be photographed. This process is repeated many times, until many dots become a picture. The full distribution can be reconstructed – at a resolution not limited by the wavelength of light.
The researchers have now found a class of substances that fulfill all the requirements of this technique: rhodamine amides. At the core of these molecules lies a system of five rings. In this form, the compound is colorless and does not fluoresce. Irradiation with light induces an isomerization in which one of the rings is opened. This form of the molecule is red and can be excited several times.
Most importantly: rhodamine amides can be switched on by either a UV photon or two photons in the red part of the spectrum. This two-photon excitation can be focused onto a thin plane, which allows biological samples to be photographed layer by layer. The individual images can then be reconstructed into a single multilayer image. The resolution reached in the focal plane is far beyond the diffraction barrier (10–30 nm).

Improving Chip cooling by 250%

The Purdue University researchers, in work funded by Intel Corp, have shown tiny "ionic wind engines" that might improve computer chip cooling by 250%. When used in combination with a conventional fan, the experimental device enhanced the fan's effectiveness by increasing airflow to the surface of a mock computer chip. The new technology could help engineers design thinner laptop computers that run cooler than today's machines.

August 13, 2007

Predictions on Artificial General Intelligence

Bruce Klein crafted a poll to gain a better perspective on the time-frame for when we may see greater-than-human level AI. There are several interesting answers to the question. The question was interpreted in many ways. I interpreted the question to be when will there be artificial general intelligence which has capabilities that signicantly exceed the human level range.

I have discussed my predictions on hardware for artificial intelligence

There are several papers from the 2006 Artificial General Intelligence workshop


Assumptions

I believe that progress will be getting faster. Examples of computer related capability that is improving faster than Moore’s law are: General purpose GPUs, better nanotechnology, quantum computers and graphene/plasmonic computers. It is the kinds of hardware for computer memory and processing which are the most successful.

An underlying aspect is how useful AGI will be. Quantum computing, which seems to be emerging with Dwave Systems, has usefulness discussions. Even with very good quanutm computing there are still mathematically provably hard problems. AGI pushing those frontiers will also still find it slow going even if the intelligence is faster than human. The greatest impact for AGI would be if they could somehow help circumvent the bad choices and screwups that humans have been making.

Examples of problems caused by bad collective choices
We are not in space and do not have good energy production solutions. This is not because solutions could not be thought of but because the social and leadership system for selecting and organizing around solutions is flawed. Nuclear pulsed propulsion, advanced nuclear thermal should have been developed.

Most people are not rich because of self-defeating behaviors.

Society has poverty because of short sighted corruption (group self-destructiveness)

AGI should still focus on business problems. Thinking Machines did not have a focus on making money and business problems and went out of business.

Predictions on AGI

1. When do we have the raw hardware capacity equivalence or passing of 10 petaflops (but we could get surprised and find we need 1 exaflop) ?

For the 10 petaflop number 2012 for a full real time human brain simulation. (100 billion neurons) 2018 for that simulation to be less than an average annual salary of someone in the developed countries. ($60,000/year at that time)

For the 1 exaflop number 2018 for a full real time human brain simulation. (100 billion neurons) 2023 for that simulation to be less than an average annual salary of someone in the developed countries. ($60,000/year at that time)

2012-2018 for the hardware for greater than human AI.

2. It will take more than hardware. Being able to put the pieces together for really useful AGI will take correct models of intelligence, theories, architectures, algorithms and integration of sensors and more access to information.

Each productive human is pretty highly specialized in the area in which they are making a contribution. The greater than human AI that does most things better than any person or group of people needs to be equal to one hundred to one million human specialists. Narrowly specialized and computers in the general range (some things better and some things worse then people) would make a difference but would not be reaching a different class of capability.

So I think high impact AI that is the range somewhat above and below human level will last from 2012-2035. I think we will be getting towards the real core of the problems re:intelligence that we do not understand yet during this period.

The whole new game level of greater than human AI could be in the 2030-2050 timeframe or a tad before depending upon when we can use molecular nanotech or other technology to make a lot of optical, quantum computronium. A bunch of cheap billion exaflop machines running 100 exaneuron equivalent and connected to molecular nanotechnology sensors systems would be able to compensate for inefficiency in the implemented AGI solutions with a lot of brute force capability.

People will slip-streamed in behind with tight integration with computer intelligence and adopt other enhancements.