Transformative AGI by 2043 is <1% likely

Ari Allyn-Feuer, Ted Sanders
Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence (cs.AI)
2023-06-04 16:00:00
This paper is a submission to the Open Philanthropy AI Worldviews Contest. In it, we estimate the likelihood of transformative artificial general intelligence (AGI) by 2043 and find it to be <1%. Specifically, we argue: The bar is high: AGI as defined by the contest - something like AI that can perform nearly all valuable tasks at human cost or less - which we will call transformative AGI is a much higher bar than merely massive progress in AI, or even the unambiguous attainment of expensive superhuman AGI or cheap but uneven AGI. Many steps are needed: The probability of transformative AGI by 2043 can be decomposed as the joint probability of a number of necessary steps, which we group into categories of software, hardware, and sociopolitical factors. No step is guaranteed: For each step, we estimate a probability of success by 2043, conditional on prior steps being achieved. Many steps are quite constrained by the short timeline, and our estimates range from 16% to 95%. Therefore, the odds are low: Multiplying the cascading conditional probabilities together, we estimate that transformative AGI by 2043 is 0.4% likely. Reaching >10% seems to require probabilities that feel unreasonably high, and even 3% seems unlikely. Thoughtfully applying the cascading conditional probability approach to this question yields lower probability values than is often supposed. This framework helps enumerate the many future scenarios where humanity makes partial but incomplete progress toward transformative AGI.
PDF: Transformative AGI by 2043 is <1% likely.pdf
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