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Future of Work Series: How soon will Artificial Intelligence Exceed Human Performance

Most people agree that advances in artificial intelligence (AI) will transform modern life by replacing humans in many jobs. And that raises an interesting question: when will artificial intelligence exceed human performance? More specifically, when will a machine do your job better than you?

A recent survey of 1643 AI experts conducted by Oxford University shed more light on this important topic. The survey results predict AI will outperform humans in many activities in the next ten years, such as 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 working as a surgeon (by 2053). Researchers believe there is a 50% chance of AI outperforming humans in all tasks in 45 years and of automating all human jobs in 120 years. An interesting finding of the research was that Asian respondents expect these dates to happen much sooner.

It is important to mention that in our view, while many of the existing jobs may be replaced by automation or artificial intelligence, new types of jobs will appear, transforming the way we work. If history is any example, the number of new jobs may exceed those lost. However, there will be periods of transition pains, when job losers have not yet learned the right skills required to fill those new positions.

This is an important topic that our foundation monitors and reports on regularly, as it is essential to adapt education programs and public policy, to better anticipate, and conform our education, career, and life decisions to the advances fast approaching. Otherwise, the evolution of AI could cause catastrophic disruptions to the world’s job markets and economies.



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