A survey of 2,778 researchers shows how fragmented the AI science community is



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Summary

The “2023 Expert Survey on Progress in AI” shows that the scientific community has no consensus on the risks and opportunities of AI, but everything is moving faster than once thought.

On the much-discussed question of whether the development of AI needs a pause, the survey reveals an undecided picture: about 35% support either a slower or a faster development compared to the current pace.

However, at 15.6%, the “much faster” group is three times larger than the “much slower” group. 27% say the current pace is appropriate.

Image: Grace et al.

AI development will continue to accelerate

The survey found that the pace of AI development will continue to accelerate. The overall forecast revealed a probability of at least 50 percent that AI systems will reach several milestones by 2028, many significantly earlier than previously thought.

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These milestones include autonomously creating a payment processing website from scratch, creating a song indistinguishable from a new song by a well-known musician, and autonomously downloading and refining a comprehensive language model.

A fictional New York Times bestseller is expected to be written by AI around 2030. In the last survey, this estimate was around 2038.

Image: Grace et al.

Answers to the questions about “high-level machine intelligence” (HLMI) and “full automation of work” (FAOL) also varied widely in some cases, but the overall forecast for both questions points to a much earlier occurrence than previously expected.

If scientific progress continues unabated, the probability that machines will outperform humans in all possible tasks without outside help is estimated at 10 percent by 2027 and 50 percent by 2047. This estimate is 13 years ahead of a similar survey conducted just one year earlier.

Image: Grace et al.

The likelihood of all human occupations being fully automated was estimated at 10 percent by 2037 and 50 percent by 2116 (compared to 2164 in the 2022 survey).

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