AI may not be as disruptive as corporate executives suggest, as indicated by a survey of 213 computer science professors. The consensus among these experts leans toward the creation of a dedicated federal agency in the United States for overseeing artificial intelligence (AI) governance. This comprehensive survey was conducted by Axios, Generation Lab, and Syracuse University, involving computer science professors from 65 of the nation’s most prestigious universities. The questions probed a wide range of AI-related topics.
When asked about the best entity for regulating AI, the majority of respondents favored either the establishment of a new “Department of AI” government agency (37%) or advocating for a global organization or treaty (22%). The survey delved into concerns about the impact of the AI sector on future employment prospects. A significant portion of the experts recommended pursuing careers in AI, engineering, and data science.
Conversely, 31% of the surveyed professors discouraged careers in media, while 19% had reservations about careers in the arts, suggesting that young individuals should steer clear of these fields. The most common response, chosen by 42%, was “none of the above” when asked which fields young people should avoid. Regarding the question of whether there exists a point in AI’s evolution beyond which humans cannot regain control, responses were divided between “no, probably not” (41%), “yes, probably” (35%), “no, definitely not” (19%), and “yes, definitely” (6%).
The sentiment expressed by these experts seems to contrast with the views of the general public and business leaders. While the latter often vocalize ambitious expectations regarding AI’s potential to rapidly reshape the economic and employment landscape, 73% of the professors believe that AI will likely be capable of performing less than 20% of tasks currently undertaken by humans at or above human proficiency.