The vision of robots taking over the world might sound like something out of a dystopian science fiction novel.
But robots will outnumber humans by 2048, an expert has predicted today. According to ‘leading futurologist’ Dr Ian Pearson, earth’s robot population will grow from around 57 million to 9.4billion over the next 30 years.
Dr Pearson, a British novelist, engineer and inventor, said robots could also become ‘emotionally intelligent’ by 2028.
He said his predictions are based on the ‘modest’ assumption that the number of robots will grow by a fifth each year.
According to ‘leading futurologist’ Dr Ian Pearson, earth’s robot population will grow from around 57 million to 9.4billion over the next 30 years
If the take-up is quicker, robots could overtake humans by as early as 2033.
Separate studies have predicted huge numbers of workers will be replaced by robots – with manufacturing, finance, accountancy and transport among those hardest hit.
Only last week Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned the automation of millions of jobs could lead to mass unemployment, rising inequality, wage stagnation, and the resurgence of Marxism within a generation.
Dr Pearson said: ‘Today the global robot population is probably around 57 million. That will grow quickly in the foreseeable future and by 2048 robots will overtake humans. If we allow for likely market acceleration, that could happen as early as 2033. By 2028, some of those robots will already be starting to feel genuine emotions and to respond to us emotionally.’ The idea of robots taking over the world makes many of us nervous.
According to a poll of 2000 adults, seven in ten (71 per cent) fear the rise of artificially intelligent robots, and nearly six in ten (59 per cent) believe robots pose a threat to humanity.
More than half of those surveyed (54 per cent) believe scientists won’t be able to control the rise of artificially intelligent robots.
Asked what frightens them most about the rise of robots, almost half (43 per cent) said they were worried robots will take control of society, almost four in ten (37 per cent) fear robots could become more intelligent than humans, and over a third (34 per cent) worry robots could reduce their chances of getting a new job.
The research was commissioned by streaming service NOW TV which is promoting the launch of the second series of Westworld.
Separate studies have predicted huge numbers of workers will be replaced by robots – with manufacturing, finance, accountancy and transport among those hardest hit
Based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film starring Yul Brynner, this is about androids in a Western-themed amusement park that start killing visitors.
But there are some very heavyweight people that believe we should take the threat of robots very seriously.
Experts have warned many professions including accountants and estate agents could be almost wiped out.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has predicted that 15million Britons- almost half of the 31.8million workforce – could be replaced by robots over the coming years as livelihoods were ‘mercilessly destroyed’ by the technological revolution.
But some believe it’s not just our jobs we should be worried about.
Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX has warned robots post a ‘fundamental risk to the existence’ of humanity.
In response to footage of a 6 foot nine inch humanoid robot made by Boston Robotics doing a back flip, Mr Musk warned on Twitter:
‘This is nothing. In a few years, that bot will move so fast you’ll need a strobe light to see it. Sweet dreams…’ Others have stressed that the rise of machines will boost productivity, creating other jobs for humans.