Predicting the Future: AI’s Apocalyptic Visions

January 25, 2024
1 min read

A group of researchers conducted an outlook survey among AI researchers and engineers, asking a series of questions regarding the present and future of AI research. The survey found that the median prediction for AI-driven extinction by the year 2100 was 5 percent. The research group AI Impacts has been conducting this survey since 2016 to map out potential consequences of advancing AI technology. However, the survey has received criticism for its participant selection methods, which were seen as skewed and narrow. AI Impacts has received funding from individuals and philanthropic associations concerned with the potential existential risk of artificial intelligence.

The researchers also asked participants to estimate the likelihoods and development timelines of various AI research milestones. Some tasks were predicted to be achievable by the end of the decade, while others were given longer median timeframes. The survey has been seen as contributing to current media coverage and public opinion of AI, with critics accusing it of running a panic campaign. AI Impacts plans to continue adapting its surveys in response to criticisms in future iterations.

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