Here's when machines will take your job, as predicted by A.I. gurus

An MIT study predicts when artificial intelligence will take over for humans in different occupations.

MIT study predicts when AI will take over human jobs.
Photo credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP / Getty Images

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 A.I. 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 A.I. 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 A.I.-driven machines in retail by 2031. By 2049, A.I. should be writing New York Times bestsellers and performing surgeries by 2053.

Overall, A.I. 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. A.I. 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 A.I. 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.

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

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What is the rarest blood type?

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  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
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China's "artificial sun" sets new record for fusion power

China has reached a new record for nuclear fusion at 120 million degrees Celsius.

Credit: STR via Getty Images
Technology & Innovation

This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink.

China wants to build a mini-star on Earth and house it in a reactor. Many teams across the globe have this same bold goal --- which would create unlimited clean energy via nuclear fusion.

But according to Chinese state media, New Atlas reports, the team at the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) has set a new world record: temperatures of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds.

Yeah, that's hot. So what? Nuclear fusion reactions require an insane amount of heat and pressure --- a temperature environment similar to the sun, which is approximately 150 million degrees C.

If scientists can essentially build a sun on Earth, they can create endless energy by mimicking how the sun does it.

If scientists can essentially build a sun on Earth, they can create endless energy by mimicking how the sun does it. In nuclear fusion, the extreme heat and pressure create a plasma. Then, within that plasma, two or more hydrogen nuclei crash together, merge into a heavier atom, and release a ton of energy in the process.

Nuclear fusion milestones: The team at EAST built a giant metal torus (similar in shape to a giant donut) with a series of magnetic coils. The coils hold hot plasma where the reactions occur. They've reached many milestones along the way.

According to New Atlas, in 2016, the scientists at EAST could heat hydrogen plasma to roughly 50 million degrees C for 102 seconds. Two years later, they reached 100 million degrees for 10 seconds.

The temperatures are impressive, but the short reaction times, and lack of pressure are another obstacle. Fusion is simple for the sun, because stars are massive and gravity provides even pressure all over the surface. The pressure squeezes hydrogen gas in the sun's core so immensely that several nuclei combine to form one atom, releasing energy.

But on Earth, we have to supply all of the pressure to keep the reaction going, and it has to be perfectly even. It's hard to do this for any length of time, and it uses a ton of energy. So the reactions usually fizzle out in minutes or seconds.

Still, the latest record of 120 million degrees and 101 seconds is one more step toward sustaining longer and hotter reactions.

Why does this matter? No one denies that humankind needs a clean, unlimited source of energy.

We all recognize that oil and gas are limited resources. But even wind and solar power --- renewable energies --- are fundamentally limited. They are dependent upon a breezy day or a cloudless sky, which we can't always count on.

Nuclear fusion is clean, safe, and environmentally sustainable --- its fuel is a nearly limitless resource since it is simply hydrogen (which can be easily made from water).

With each new milestone, we are creeping closer and closer to a breakthrough for unlimited, clean energy.

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