Home >  News >  June, 2017

Surgeons Will Be Obsolete in a Few Years (And They're Not the Only Ones)

Artificial intelligence experts say our jobs are about to start disappearing fast.

Published: June 6, 2017

WHAT A BYTE Machines powered by artificial intelligence
may put half of us out of work in the next 25 years.

Got a temperamental surgeon or two who make your life tougher than it needs to be? Good news! In a few dozen years, surgeons will be obsolete! (Of course, unfortunately, you likely will be, too.)

Who says? Top artificial intelligence experts, that's who. Some 350 academic and industry know-it-alls from around the world were surveyed by researchers at England's University of Oxford. With technology careening forward at breakneck speed, how much longer, they were asked, will it take for machines to surpass mere humans in various vocations?

Their verdict? Not much. For surgeons, the consensus is that by 2053, machines powered by artificial — and presumably non-temperamental — intelligence will assume the position at the head of the surgical table.

And surgeons — lucky for them — should be able to keep their jobs considerably longer than most of the rest of us. Nearly half (47%) of all jobs will be gone in the next 25 years, say the experts. Machines, they say, will be better at translating languages by 2024, better at driving trucks by 2027, better at writing hit songs by 2028, better at retail work by 2031 and better at writing bestselling books by 2049 (uh oh). (They don't say how long artificial-intelligence developers get to keep their jobs.)

What's more? Those dates reflect some of the less optimistic (or less pessimistic, depending on your viewpoint) predictions. Asian respondents who took part in the survey expect machines to leave us in the dust much sooner than their North American counterparts expect.

Jim Burger


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