When will AI be smarter than humans?

Gary A. Fowler
3 min readNov 23, 2023
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Ever since the dawn of the digital age, one question has repeatedly surfaced — when will artificial intelligence (AI) become smarter than humans?

The Concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

History of AI

The journey of AI started in the mid-20th century, when scientists began dreaming of creating an artificial brain. It has since evolved from a mere concept to a pivotal part of modern society.

Current State of AI

Today, AI systems are everywhere — from self-driving cars to voice assistants, and personalized recommendation systems to fraud detection. But are these systems truly intelligent? Not in the way humans are. They excel at the specific tasks they’re programmed to do, but struggle when it comes to creativity, understanding context, and dealing with unexpected situations.

Measuring Intelligence in AI

AI vs. Human Intelligence

To discuss when AI will surpass human intelligence, we first need to define what we mean by “intelligence”. Is it problem-solving ability? Creative thinking? Emotional understanding? These are areas where humans currently hold the upper hand.

The Turing Test and AI

The Turing Test, proposed by British mathematician Alan Turing, has long been a benchmark for measuring a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, human behavior. No AI has convincingly passed this test so far, underlining the challenges AI faces in surpassing human intelligence.

Predictions on AI Surpassing Human Intelligence

Expert Opinions

Experts’ opinions vary significantly. Some, like Elon Musk, believe that AI could surpass humans in most economically valuable work by 2030. Others, like AI researcher Toby Walsh, predict a much later date — around 2062.

Technological Advancements and Their Impact

Future advancements in technologies like quantum computing and neuromorphic hardware could potentially accelerate AI development, bringing the date closer.

The Timeline for AI to Outsmart Humans

Conservative Estimates

Conservative estimates, based on the slow rate of progress in fields like common sense reasoning and emotional understanding, suggest that it could take over a century for AI to become smarter than humans.

Optimistic Predictions

Optimistic predictions, often made by technologists and futurists, suggest it could happen within the next few decades. They base these predictions on the exponential growth of computational power and the advent of new technologies.

Implications of AI Becoming Smarter than Humans

Positive Consequences

On the bright side, AI that is smarter than humans could help solve some of our biggest challenges, like climate change, disease, and poverty.

Potential Risks

However, it also brings risks, including job displacement and potential misuse of AI technology. There are also concerns about super-intelligent AI that we cannot control.

Preparing for an AI-Dominant Future

Regardless of when it happens, we need to prepare for a future where AI is smarter than us. This means addressing ethical issues, implementing strong regulatory frameworks, and ensuring AI is developed for the benefit of all.

Conclusion

While it’s challenging to pinpoint exactly when AI will be smarter than humans, it’s clear that we’re heading in that direction. As we continue to advance AI, it’s vital that we do so responsibly, considering both the immense potential benefits and the profound risks.

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Gary A. Fowler

Founder & CEO of GSDVS, Generative AI Guy, Speaker, Author, Investor and Venture Scaler