How long until computers are smarter than us?

When you ask a panel of artificial general intelligence (AGI) experts about when computers will consider us their pets, maybe things don't look so bad for the human race after all. Unless someone throws gobs of money at such a project, a clear majority of the experts predict computers reaching superhuman intelligence is unlikely, and will happen either later than the 2090s or never.

However, if you're worried about computers getting smarter than Nobel Prize winners, you're out of luck: Seven of those experts thought that would happen in the 2020s even with no new funding, compared with five of them thinking it will happen later than the 2090s or never. Strangely enough, four of the scientists don't think computers will ever pass a Turing test, possessing the ability to carry on a conversation well enough to pass as a human.

Our take? Unless we destroy ourselves in the interim, computer intelligence overtaking humans seems inevitable. These questions were asked of the experts in a context of "no new funding," but this economic crunch probably won't go on forever, and robotics research is certainly getting funding, even now. Let's just hope those bots follow the Three Laws of Robotics, and don't kill us all for being superfluous meat puppets.

H+ Magazine, via Kurzweil AI