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Nick Amoscato / Flickr cc

There's a 50% chance AI machines will accomplish virtually every task better and more cheaply than human workers in the next 45 years, and once that is achieved, AI systems will rapidly become superior to humans, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Oxford and Yale.

Timeline of advancement: The research shows that there is a 50% chance AI will automate all human jobs in the next 122 years, but in certain tasks, humans will be outperformed much sooner:

  • AI will surpass humans in language translation by 2024, writing high-school essays by 2026, truck driving by 2027, retail work by 2031, writing a bestselling book by 2049, and working as a surgeon by 2053, the research said.

The bottom line: Researchers believe that acceleration of high-level machine intelligence (HLMI) will happen in less than 50 years, and bring with it potentially "catastrophic" risks for society that must be prepared for.

The potential risks: In addition to possible unemployment, the study notes that the transition to a world run by AI machines would bring new challenges, "such as rebuilding infrastructure, protecting vehicle cyber-security, and adapting laws and regulations."

The study's caveats: The researchers collected data from some 352 researchers who responded to their survey, and the predictions for how fast and how drastic an intelligence explosion would arise varied by geographic region. For example, the study notes that Asian respondents expected HLMI in 30 years, while North American researchers pegged it at 74 years.

Go deeper

Updated 52 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ubisoft workers demand company accountability in open letter

Photo: Frederic Brown / Getty Images

Close to 500 current and former employees of “Assassin’s Creed” publisher Ubisoft are standing in solidarity with protesting game developers at Activision Blizzard with a letter that criticizes their company's handling of sexual misconduct.

Why it matters: Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard workers are framing the actions as part of a bigger movement meant to have lasting change in the industry and its culture.

Companies deploy tech to prevent retail crime

Customers in a Home Depot in Pleasanton, California, in February 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Retailers have a new edge for fighting theft: They're using technology to disable stolen goods — from iPhones to Black & Decker drills — and render them useless.

Why it matters: Organized retail crime has a considerable affect on retailers every year, costing them an average of $719,000 per $1 billion dollars in sales, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Podcasts

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek does a podcast on the future of podcasts

Spotify on Wednesday reported significant ad revenue growth from its podcast business, as part of its quarterly earnings disclosure.

Take a listen: Company founder and CEO Daniel Ek appeared on the Axios Re:Cap podcast to discuss how the podcast business model is changing, why he's spending big on exclusive shows and his personal favorites in both podcasting and music.