While technology develops at exponential speed, transforming how we go about our everyday tasks and extending our lives, it also offers much to worry about. In particular, many top minds think that automation will cost humans their employment, with up to 47% of all jobs gone in the next 25 years. And chances are, this number could be even higher and the massive job loss will come earlier.
So when will your job become obsolete? Researchers at the University of Oxford surveyed the world's best artificial intelligence experts to find out when exactly machines will be better at humans in various occupations.
Katja Grace from Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute led the team that gathered responses from 352 academics and industry experts in machine learning. Then they calculated the median responses to come up with some concrete numbers.
In the next 10 years, we should have AI do better than humans in translating languages (by 2024), writing high-school-level essays (by 2026), writing top 40 songs (by 2028) and driving trucks. And while the consensus may be that driving trucks may come by 2027, it's easy to predict that this could happen even sooner, with top tech entrepreneurs like Elon Musk constantly pushing the envelope and promising these innovations earlier.
A chore that would take less time - folding laundry should be a breeze for AI by 2022. Other tasks might take longer, but still within the foreseeable future. It's likely you'll be around for these. We should get AI-driven machines in retail by 2031. By 2049, AI should be writing New York Times bestsellers and performing surgeries by 2053.
Overall, AI shoud be better than humans at pretty much everything in about 45 years.
Here's the full chart:
As MIT Technology Review points out, these predictions have a way of coming earlier. AI wasn't supposed to beat humans at the game of Go until 2027 and that happened back in 2015. In fact, it took Google's DeepMind just two years to come up with the necessary tech, instead of the 12 that was predicted.
On the other hand, as 40 years is an average person's working life, predictions that extend past that might be unreliable as they are based on technology in which the experts might not have enough practical knowledge.
Interestingly, there is a difference in how experts from different parts of the world view the future. Asian researchers put the AI takeover in just 30 years, while their North American counterparts see that happening in about 74 years. Full automation of labor is expected in under 125 years.
You can check out Grace's paper here.