Artificial intelligence systems could outperform humans in all tasks within the next 45 years, according to a new study which also suggests that all human jobs will be automated in the next 120 years. According to a survey of over 350 artificial intelligence (AI) researchers, machines are predicted to be better than us at translating languages by 2024, writing high-school essays by 2026, driving a truck by 2027, working in retail by 2031, writing a bestselling book by 2049 and surgery by 2053. However, there is only a five per cent chance that computers will bring about outcomes that may lead to human extinction, researchers said.
The survey, by the University of Oxford in the UK and Yale University in the US, was conducted among 352 researchers who had presented their research at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems or the International Conference on Machine Learning – the two major conferences in the field of AI. “There is accumulating evidence that machines can overpower human intelligence in complex, though specific tasks,” Eleni Vasilaki at the University of Sheffield in the UK, told the ‘New Scientist’. However, there is little evidence that AI with human-like versatility will appear any time soon, Vasilaki said.
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The survey results showed that researchers in Asia typically gave shorter time frames than those in North America – predicting that AI would outperform humans on all tasks within 30 years, compared with 74 years. “This may well be an interesting demonstration of culture at work when forming opinions about technology,” said Leslie Willcocks at the London School of Economics and Political Science.