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A summary of AI surveys
By Katja Grace, 10 January 2015
If you want to know when human-level AI will be developed, a natural approach is to ask someone who works on developing AI. You might however be put off by such predictions being regularly criticized as inaccurate and biased. While they do seem overwhelmingly likely to be inaccurate and biased, I claim they would have to be very inaccurate and biased before they were worth ignoring, especially in the absence of many other sources of quality information. The bar for ridicule is well before the bar for being uninformative.
So on that note, we made a big summary of all of the surveys we know of on timelines to human-level AI. And also a bunch of summary pages on specific human-level AI surveys. We hope they are a useful reference, and also help avert selection bias selection bias from people only knowing about surveys that support their particular views on selection bias.
It's interesting to note the consistency between the surveys that asked participants to place confidence intervals. They all predict there is a ten percent chance of human-level AI sometime in the 2020s, and almost all place a fifty percent chance of human-level AI between 2040 and 2050. They are even pretty consistent on the 90% date, with more than half in 2070-2080. This is probably mostly evidence that people talk to each other and hear about similar famous predictions. However it is some evidence of accuracy, since if each survey produced radically different estimates we must conclude that surveys are fairly inaccurate.
If you know of more surveys on human-level AI timelines, do send them our way.
Here's a summary of our summary:
Year Survey # 10% 50% 90% Other key ‘Predictions’ Participants Response rate Link to original document 1972 Michie 67 Median 50y (2022) (vs 20 or >50) AI, CS - link 2005 Bainbridge 26 Median 2085 Tech - link 2006 AI@50 median >50y (2056) AI conf - link 2007 Klein 888 median 2030-2050 Futurism? - link and link 2009 AGI-09 2020 2040 2075 AGI conf; AI - link 2011 FHI Winter Intelligence 35 2028 2050 2150 AGI impacts conf; 44% related technical 41% link 2011-2012 Kruel interviews 37 2025 2035 2070 AGI, AI - link 2012 FHI: AGI 72 2022 2040 2065 AGI & AGI impacts conf; AGI, technical work 65% link 2012 FHI:PT-AI 43 2023 2048 2080 Philosophy & theory of AI conf; not technical AI 49% link 2012-present Hanson ~10 ≤ 10% progress to human level in past 20y AI - link 2013 FHI: TOP100 29 2022 2040 2075 Top AI 29% link 2013 FHI:EETN 26 2020 2050 2093 Greek assoc. for AI; AI 10% link
(Image: AGI-09 participants, by jeriaska)