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Etzioni 2016 survey

Published 06 November, 2019; last updated 16 August, 2022

Oren Etzioni surveyed 193 AAAI fellows in 2016 and found that 67% of them expected that ‘we will achieve Superintelligence’ someday, but in more than 25 years.


Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for AI,1 reported on a survey in an MIT Tech Review article published on 20 Sep 2016.2 The rest of this article summarizes information from that source, except where noted.

In March 2016, on behalf of Etzioni, the American Association for AI (AAAI) sent out an anonymous survey to 193 of their Fellows (“individuals who have made significant, sustained contributions — usually over at least a ten-year period — to the field of artificial intelligence.”3).

The survey contained one question:

“In his book, Nick Bostrom has defined Superintelligence as ‘an intellect that is much smarter than the best human brains in practically every field, including scientific creativity, general wisdom and social skills.’ When do you think we will achieve Superintelligence?”

It seems that responses were entered by selecting one of four categories4 although it is possible that they were entered as real numbers and then grouped.

There were 80 responses, for a response rate of 41%. They were:

  • “In the next 10 years”: 0%
  • “In the next 10-25 years”: 7.5%
  • “In more than 25 years”: 67.5%
  • “Never.”: 25%
Figure 1: graph of responses from Etzioni’s article.


  1. “Oren Etzioni.” Accessed November 6, 2019.
  2. Etzioni, Oren. “Most Experts Say AI Isn’t as Much of a Threat as You Might Think.” MIT Technology Review. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  3. “Elected AAAI Fellows.” Accessed November 6, 2019.
  4. “One of us (Russell) responded to Etzioni’s survey with ‘more than 25 years,’…”

    Russell, Allan Dafoe and Stuart. “Yes, the Experts Are Worried about the Existential Risk of Artificial Intelligence.” MIT Technology Review. Accessed November 6, 2019.
ai_timelines/predictions_of_human-level_ai_timelines/ai_timeline_surveys/etzioni_2016_survey.txt · Last modified: 2022/09/21 07:37 (external edit)