Future Progress in Artificial Intelligence: A Survey of Expert Opinion

  • Vincent C. MüllerEmail author
  • Nick Bostrom
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 376)


There is, in some quarters, concern about high–level machine intelligence and superintelligent AI coming up in a few decades, bringing with it significant risks for humanity. In other quarters, these issues are ignored or considered science fiction. We wanted to clarify what the distribution of opinions actually is, what probability the best experts currently assign to high–level machine intelligence coming up within a particular time–frame, which risks they see with that development, and how fast they see these developing. We thus designed a brief questionnaire and distributed it to four groups of experts in 2012/2013. The median estimate of respondents was for a one in two chance that high-level machine intelligence will be developed around 2040–2050, rising to a nine in ten chance by 2075. Experts expect that systems will move on to superintelligence in less than 30 years thereafter. They estimate the chance is about one in three that this development turns out to be ‘bad’ or ‘extremely bad’ for humanity.


Artificial intelligence AI Machine intelligence Future of AI Progress Superintelligence Singularity Intelligence explosion Humanity Opinion poll Expert opinion 



Toby Ord and Anders Sandberg were helpful in the formulation of the questionnaire. The technical work on the website form, sending mails and reminders, database and initial data analysis was done by Ilias Nitsos (under the guidance of VCM). Theo Gantinas provided the emails of the TOP100. Stuart Armstrong made most graphs for presentation. The audience at the PT-AI 2013 conference in Oxford provided helpful feedback. Mark Bishop, Carl Shulman, Miles Brundage and Daniel Dewey made detailed comments on drafts. We are very grateful to all of them.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Future of Humanity Institute, Department of Philosophy & Oxford Martin SchoolUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Anatolia College/ACTThessalonikiGreece

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