Will AI Take Over? Artificial Intelligence Will Best Humans at Everything by 2060, Experts Say

Go player Ke Jie competes against Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo during their second match at the Future of Go Summit in China. Reuters

If any of us are still alive in the year 2100, we'll likely look back on artificial intelligence as the definitive development of the 21st century. Then we'll have a robot write a blog post about it for us.

There is a 50 percent chance that AI be able to perform all human tasks better than humans in 45 years, and all human jobs are expected to be automated within the next 120 years, according to a survey of 352 AI researchers who published at either the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems or the International Conference on Machine Learning in 2015. The survey was conducted by the University of Oxford and Yale University.

"Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) will transform modern life by reshaping transportation, health, science, finance, and the military," reads the study. "To adapt public policy, we need to better anticipate these advances."

Related: How artificial intelligence will cure America's health care system

Survey respondents predict that AI will be able to translate languages better than humans by 2024, write high school–level essays by 2026, drive trucks by 2027, work in retail by 2031, write books by 2049 and perform surgery by 2053. Most recently, an AI developed by Google defeated the world's best player in Go, a complex strategy game. In 2011, IBM's Watson AI famously won a game of Jeopardy! against the world's best players. AIs have been beating world champions in chess since 1997, when IBM's Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov.

The most paradigm-shifting AI development that looks to be coming down the pike is the large-scale proliferation of self-driving cars. Transportation innovators like Uber's Travis Kalanick and Tesla's Elon Musk have predicted that automated vehicles will disrupt the industry over the course of the next 20 years, and Musk estimates "it will be very unusual" for cars that aren't autonomous to be manufactured in the next decade. While it's fun to watch machines win board games, automated transportation will have a dramatic impact on the world economy, as driving in various forms is one of the planet's largest sources of jobs.

In a recent cover story, Newsweek's Kevin Maney detailed several of the ways AI will transform health care, such as AI software that understands a person's genetic makeup being able to diagnose illnesses. Researchers are just now beginning to understand the ways in which automation can interact with the human body, and the impact AI will have on the health industry in the coming decades is impossible to estimate, except the idea that it will be significant.

Many, including Musk, have argued that the rise in automation will force governments to establish a "universal basic income," as so many jobs will be replaced by machines that unemployment will reach unprecedented levels.

The reality is that AI will have a dramatic impact on all aspects of people's lives, and it's going to happen sooner than most of us realize. The consensus arrived at by the world's top AI researchers bears this out. Admittedly, it's a little frightening, especially if you have a job that involves anything technique-based or formulaic. Yes, that includes bloggers.